Side Hustle? What’s that?
Put simply, a Side Hustle is a way to make money outside of your normal job. It’s a way to create a new income stream (or more than one) to help you achieve your financial goals, like paying off debt, building up your savings, or simply bringing in more monthly spending money to buy nicer stuff, take more trips, buy a Ferrari for your mom, etc.
This all sounds great, right? But if you’re like most people, they have no idea where to start.
What follows is a list I’ve compiled of 350 Side Hustles that you can start doing today. There’s a huge range here…both in time/effort invested and how much money you can make as a result.
I’ve spent a good 40 or 50 hours on this single list, so there’s a lot to unpack here. Strap yourself in, grab a water/coffee, notebook and a pen, and get some ideas on how to improve your life through an additional, enjoyable income stream.
A few quick notes before we jump in:
- Some of these entries contain affiliate links. That means if you click on it and purchase the product or service, I make a small commission.
- Wherever possible, I’ve tried to include ideas for marketing your business, as well as potential pitfalls to avoid.
- You may have seen similar lists elsewhere, and although there will inevitably be some overlap, I PROMISE you that there are Side Hustles listed here that you have never heard of.
With that, off we go…
*Featured image courtesy of Anna Johnsson over at Dribbble.
350 Side Hustles Start Here:
- Delivery Driver:
If you’re wanting to get started with a fairly easy side hustle that requires minimal training and legwork, this might be the one for you. Pick up, deliver, get paid. Plain and simple. You might also consider signing up for more than one service to hedge your bets and cover more time and ground.
- Transport People:
Another option for hustlers with a car who want to get started quickly. You might want to do some research on average earnings in your particular town, just to know what your earning potential really is. And as is true with the “Gig Economy”, the more you can set yourself apart through stellar reviews (clean car, free bottles of water, device chargers available, etc.), the more you’ll probably make.
- Sell Self-Care Products:
Avon calling! Door-to-door cosmetics companies have been around for decades. But there are more tools than ever to help you get your name out there as a self-care specialist. It’s not just about makeup and cosmetics anymore, and these products aren’t just aimed towards woman, either. “Self-care” is a booming (and growing) industry, so there’s never been a better time to dig in (and don’t skimp on social platforms like Pinterest to get your name out there)!
- Voiceover Talent:
This has been one of my main side hustles over the last several years. It’s a multi-faceted industry with opportunities literally around the globe that you can record from home. Like anything else, it’s a crowded market, but if you can find ways to build relationships and set yourself apart, you can make 4 to 5 figures per month, even as a side hustle.
- Merch By Amazon:
“Print-On-Demand” technology has revolutionized the “merch” industry, and Amazon has taken notice. Now, you can upload text, designs, etc. and have them printed on t-shirts, socks, mugs, etc. without ever having to order in bulk or hold inventory. You have to be accepted into the program, however.
- Amazon FBA:
FBA=”Fulfilled By Amazon“. Another branch of Amazon’s multi-pronged mega-business, FBA allows you to sell on their platform with access to their massive buyer base, and they’ll take care of the packing, shipping and general fulfillment tasks. It ain’t free, though, so be sure to use their FBA calculator to know what the associated fees are for your product/s.
- Retail Arbitrage:
Simply put, this is the act of buying a product at a lower price and selling it somewhere else for a higher price. The opportunities to make money this way are nearly endless…your purchases can come from garage sales, estate sales, Facebook Marketplace, or discount stores, and then resell on online platforms like Amazon, eBay, Mercari, Poshmark, etc. I’ve made $1000s in revenue reselling drum equipment on Reverb.com.
- Organize/Run Focus Groups:
There are major companies that do this at scale, so you have two options. First, you can help run them for those companies, or second, you could organize your own and offer to do this on a smaller scale for companies that can’t afford the agency prices. I’d recommend learning what makes a scientifically-viable focus group first, however, or else results can be easily skewed.
Dropshipping is great, because you can create a store (Shopify, Amazon or otherwise) where you sell brand new products, and when an order comes in, you submit it directly to the wholesaler who ships it to the doorstep of your customer. The process certainly takes some coordination and keeping track of suppliers, wholesalers and your own business accounting, but it can be a lucrative way to earn profit without ever having to hold inventory.
- Complete Online Surveys:
If I’m being honest, it’s unlikely that surveys will ever make you gobs of cash. However if you have the extra time and an Internet connection, you can score a few bucks here and there, as well as other incentives.
- Computer Repair:
Like any machine, computers can grind down and break over time. And if you’re tech savvy and good with your hands, you can capitalize on the market who doesn’t need the newest, fastest processor and would prefer to save a few bucks. You can also just fix people’s broken computers and give them back to them (and do it from home)!
- Build Custom Computers:
Another possibility for those who know their bits and bites. Source computer parts and assemble them to order. I’ve seen people build some wicked machines this way at a fraction of what you’d pay a major retailer.
- Resell Used Mobile Devices:
There’s a reason why the mobile companies give you cash for your device when you’re upgrading…there’s a market! Offer to buy people’s used phones or tablets for quick cash, and then resell them to one of the many online or brick-and-mortar stores that buy them.
- Create A Private Label:
Ever wanted to create your own line of pet beds, nutritional supplements or portable speakers? Private labeling is the process of working with a generic manufacturer who creates the products, labels them to your specifications, and then ships them either to you or an online retailer. It can be an expensive initial order, so I suggest you do it in steps, like getting quotes and samples from multiple suppliers.
Speak another langauge? Become a freelance translation specialist and offer your services to individuals and companies doing business in other countries. Who knows…maybe you’ll even be the voice we hear during UN meetings!
- Graphic Designer:
There’s no substitute for good design, branding and collateral, and an effective graphic designer can make a mint if they market themselves correctly. With so many cheap/free options out there today for design, find ways to create a niche for yourself, like “expert graphic design for mid-level law firms” or “west coast cover band logo creator”.
- Personal Chef:
Love to cook? There are busy individuals, couples and families who hate cooking, or simply don’t have time to do it. That’s where you can make a mint (or thyme, or tarragon…heh heh) creating meals at people’s homes that they then store and use throughout the week. And with enough clients, you can batch-buy ingredients and have a standardized menu across your client base to simplify your work.
- Interior Decorator:
Although this can easily become a full-time career with a ton of schooling and accreditations, people don’t care about the official titles or letters after your name if you can simply make their house look amazing. Start with your own home or friends’ places, and consider working with a pro photographer to get the best representation of your work. You’ll need good shots to show to potential clients.
Bonus tip: make friends with other home service people, i.e. real estate agents, cleaning services, title companies, etc., who can recommend you to folks who are buying a new place and might need a spruce-up.
- House Cleaning:
Being a house cleaner is one of those services that can standardized and, with the right marketing and contract, you can build a sizeable monthly income with only a few good clients. My friend Lisa Macqueen and her husband built a fierce cleaning business in Australia and have gone on to win awards and accolades as a result.
- Nursing Arbitrage:
The nursing industry is facing a labor shortage, and with increasingly complicated regulatory environment and quickly-aging Baby Boomer population needing greater medical care, it’s the perfect storm for someone who can identify and place qualified nurses at hospitals around the country.
- Trash Removal:
It’s a dirty job…which is precisely why most people aren’t doing it. Start your own parking lot/neighborhood trash removal service to help keep neighborhoods and businesses beautiful, and you could have a healthy recurring income in no time. After you have a regular and reliable client base, you could even hire people to do the pickup for you while you just manage the business (and collect checks)!
- Sign Spinner:
A good sign spinner looks more like a Cirque Du Soleil breakdancer than anything else. If you can attract attention and eyeballs to a business, you can prove invaluable and command some serious bucks.
- Marketing Automation Specialist:
Programs like Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), Hubspot, ActiveCampaign, etc. are built to automate follow-up marketing tasks, i.e. sending an email when a lead fills out a form, or sending an SMS to remind a user that a webinar is about to begin. This is a big business with a lot of potential, and it’s growing bigger every year. There are automation specialists who only focus on creating marketing funnels. Getting good at it requires a combination of human psychology and techy prowess, but the process can be really fun and lucrative.
Good with a needle and thread? With a growing cultural emphasis on well-fitting clothes, there’s a market for experienced tailors and alterers (?). You might even consider going mobile and doing alterations in homes or businesses, or niching down and being the “2-hour alterations specialist”.
Irrelevant fun fact: my last name, Portnoy, means “tailor” in Russian!
- Home Inspection:
Almost every time someone buys a house, they get an inspection to see what’s really going on behind the scenes before the sign on the dotted line. A qualified and experienced home inspector can make several hundred bucks per job, and if you’re performing multiple inspections per day, that adds up quick.
- Vehicle Arbitrage:
Like any type of arbitrage, this process involves buying cars for less than you can sell them, either privately, on the open market, or at auction. Often you will need to improve them somehow, whether that’s a new paint job, tweaking the engine, or a complete overhaul. You might consider partnering with someone who complements your skill set, like you buy/sell and your buddy does the repairs.
- Car Detailing:
Mobile detailing services make it easy for car owners who want to keep their vehicles looking good, but don’t have time to wait at the shop. One of the coolest market innovations I’ve seen lately is high-end shopping centers offering detailing-while-you-shop businesses inside of their parking garages. You might consider partnering with local businesses or neighborhood associations to create a plug-in business with customers coming to you!
A doula helps provide guidance and support to a pregnant woman during (and sometimes after) the delivery of her basis. Usually a doula doesn’t have formal obstetric training, either. For the right personality, you would be providing highly rewarding emotional and medical support.
- Repair Coffee Machines:
The market for automatic and super automatic coffee machines has exploded over the last 2 decades, both in home and commercial applications. But those beasts are expensive right off the shelf! Why not learn the inner-workings of those machines, swoop up old or broken ones, clean them up and resell them for a tidy profit?
- Resume Creation:
Help job seekers hone their job-seeking game by offering a resume crafting service. Not only do you work with them to create a sharp, succinctly written resume, but use design tools (or partner with a great designer) to create visually-pleasing versions as well.
- PRN Nursing:
PRN (Latin for “pro re nata”, or “as needed”) nurses basically work part-time fill-ins at hospitals and other health care facilities when they are needed and/or requested. This is perfect for a fully-credentialed nurse who doesn’t want to commit 40 hours per week (or more) to the profession.
Think bookkeepers all work in stuffy offices and possess mountains of credentials? No way! Those good with numbers can do the books for small businesses all over town. You might even consider niching down, which I’ll mention in another entry.
- Create a Podcast:
These days, podcasts are the biggest thing since, well…the iPod that spawned the podcasting wave. It’s easier than ever to start your own. Purchase some inexpensive audio equipment, write some scripts and/or schedule some interviews and get your ideas out there to the masses. I use the Blubrry WordPress plugin to create the feed necessary to get it listed on iTunes, Google, Spotify, Stitcher, etc. Another tip: Once you’ve grown your audience large enough, consider monetizing it with services like Podcorn or Podbean. They connect podcasters with sponsors.
- Create Beats For Musicians:
The music production landscape has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. Now, anyone can put time in on programs like Fruity Loops, Reason, etc. and make some sick beats that you can then sell on marketplaces or to individual content producers. One of my favorite YouTube channels, Epic Rap Battles of History, works with a different beat creator for almost every battle.
- Stock Photography/Video:
Sites like Dreamstime, iStock Photo, Shutterstock, 123RF allow you to upload stock images, photos and video to their platform, and then share with you the revenue generated when a user downloads your stuff. I’ve made a few bucks here and there from this method. To do really well, it’s simply a numbers game. In other words, upload a lot of stock pieces to several different sites, and watch the returns roll in.
- Stock Photography/Video Model:
If you aren’t good behind the camera, get in front of it! You’d be surprised just how many everyday stock photos and videos require people in them. For example, you can’t have video of a busy coffee shop without coffee-drinking people walking around it! Partner with photographers and videographers in your area.
- Freelance Writer:
Every site on the web needs content to rank on Google. You could be the one writing it for them. Good ghostwriters or copywriters can earn hundreds of bucks (or more) per piece, depending on length, content and experience. However, the field is highly saturated so it’s best to find ways to set yourself apart. You could become a niche copywriter, like working only with attorneys and law firms. You can also create packages, i.e. 12 months of keyword-rich blog posts, an “About Us” page, and 4 quarterly newsletter feature articles for one affordable price.
- Virtual Real Estate Properties:
I will admit I’ve only heard of this practice (and can’t vouch for its legitimacy), but it goes something like this: Get a local listing ranked in Google, and then “rent” out that listing to a related local business. So for example, you create a somewhat vague listing on Google for a plumbing business. Then, you find a local plumber who needs more business and charge a monthly fee for that listing to link to their site. Again, I’ve only heard about this one, but I know some people are doing quite well with the model. Do your research, and CYA.
- Freelance Digital Advertising Specialist:
Know Adwords and Facebook ads? What about YouTube’s ad platform? Businesses, small and large are paying up to hundreds of thousands (or higher) of dollars PER DAY (yes…each) to run high ROI, measurable ad campaigns on various platform. This is an always-evolving industry, but if you can stay on top of the trends and deliver value for your clients, you might be paying cash for that Bugatti sooner than you think.
- iPhone/Smartphone Repair:
Screens crack. Phones break. Learn to fix them inexpensively and you’ll be the local neighborhood hero. I recently came across a mother/daughter team who was doing this out of a small office in a co-working space in a high-rent part of town (and killing it).
- Clean Pools:
Just like any homeowner’s chore, cleaning the pool is something most people don’t want to have to do every week. Provide high value and exceptional service, and you can get customers on a regular monthly retainer. Reduce churn (losing customers) by using an autobilling service like Stripe, where you have customers enter their credit card info once, and then they never have to think about paying you again — their credit card gets charged monthly, and you keep overdelivering on service to keep them locked in!
- Single-Item Mover/Hauler:
Let’s face it…moving sucks. And you can certainly go earn an hourly wage as someone who packs/moves people’s stuff from house to house. But what about items that don’t require a full contract or several hours? People still need to transport pianos, dining room tables, bookcases, crates, etc. You could be the local short-term stuff mover! Pro-tip: Market yourself on platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace where people are buying oversized items but have no way of transporting them.
- Brand Ambassador:
This is someone who represents (mostly) food and beverage brands in stores and usually offer samples of the product while espousing the benefits of it to potential customers. Although you can check with the retail outlets themselves, like Costco, Whole Foods, etc., there are agencies who hire brand ambassadors and send them on local and regional jobs. Great job if you enjoy talking to people and eating and/or drinking (although you really shouldn’t do that either the job).
- Freelance Stylist:
A salon booth rental can cost a fortune, and sometimes contracts involve forking over a percentage of your profit. Why bother when you can go to clients’ places and cut/color their hair in the comfort of their own homes? Pay attention to state and health department licensing laws, however…those can make this one a little tricky.
- Personal Stylist:
Perhaps someone wants to undergo a change starting from the outside in. Maybe they’ve lost weight and want to revamp their image. Whatever the reason, if you follow styles and know how to customize a wardrobe, you might be in demand as a personal stylist. Imagine that…you get paid to go shopping with people! Consider offering one-time consultation fees (scaled based on your involvement), or ongoing fees if you help individuals refine their image on an ongoing basis.
Pro tip: Check out and follow the big monthly clothing boxes (i.e. Stitchfix) for tested website and email copy to swipe.)
- Day-of-wedding Coordinator:
Before I got married, the one thing that people told me over and over was to hire a day-of-wedding coordinator. I didn’t listen. What resulted was distractions, details and logistics, versus simply living in the moment and enjoying the most meaningful day of my life.
If you’re detail-oriented and not afraid to push vendors when they need it, you could be an awesome day-of-coordinator. You take the burden off of the to-be-betrothed so that they can simply be there with friends and family and enjoy it.
- Host Speeddating Events:
I did this for about a year, and it’s actually great fun…especially if you’re single. You’re the one keeping the energy up and hosting the “party”, and it’s up to you to make sure attendees are mingling and having fun. There are several established national and local companies that will hire you as an event host in your town.
- Party Planner:
Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, Quinceañeras, corporate cocktail parties, product launches…the list of live events goes on and on. If you are equally creative, organized and well connected with vendors and venues in your town (or willing to get there), a side career in Party & Event Planning might just be for you. This is another one where you’d want to start small and local just to get your feet wet, and then work up from there.
- Website Arbitrage:
The concept here is like any other type of arbitrage; buy something, fix/update it, and sell for a profit. Websites are no different. Pick up a site or web property for a good deal, find ways to improve it such as scale up the search engine rankings, grow the email list, build linked social profiles, and most all expand the corresponding revenue streams, and you can turn a tidy profit.
You can certainly find websites one by one, but I’d suggest looking on Flippa.com and ExchangeMarketplace.com to see not only what’s available, but how to recognize the rank and value of a website. It’s a tricky business, and absolutely essential you do your due diligence. If you can afford it, I’d recommend involving an independent broker or evaluator to help you understand what you’re getting into.
- Closet/Storage Organizer:
Marie Kondo has made “getting organized” a (inter)national obsession in the past few years, and that’s opened the door for local pros to help the rest of us slobs get our spaces in shape. If you have a penchant for overcoming closet chaos and can shepherd homeowners into tossing/recycling the old and obsolete, this could be a great path for you. Consider marketing to homeowners on sites like NextDoor.com and AngiesList.com.
- Active Real Estate Investor:
I did this for about 5 years. It’s exciting, risky, and very involved. There are all sorts of ways to get involved in the real estate game, ranging from identifying deals and getting them under contract, to flipping houses, etc. I’d recommend starting small with a concept called wholesaling. Also, find a mentor and/or community. The folks over at BiggerPockets.com are supportive and full of great experience and information.
Sales, sales, sales. There will ALWAYS be a place in the world for part-time and full-time salespeople. The industry isn’t quite as abrupt and aggressive as it used to be, but you still need to know a lot about people, their psychology and motivations. Grant Cardone is the modern guru of sales, and he has both a lot of free and paid info to help you excel. You might also check out Robert Cialdini’s seminal book Influence for an excel primer on what motivates our decision making processes as humans.
- Mobile Mechanic:
Although you might not be able to transport a full-size garage car lift to someone’s driveway, you can still offer your tune-up services at a reasonable package or hourly rate.
- Kindle By Amazon:
Amazon’s Kindle program made online book publishing available to anyone and everyone, and it’s ridiculously easy to put your book out on the open market and in front of Amazon customers. Proper promotion is essential, as most Kindle books flop without adequate marketing, but the technology is simpler than ever. Check out the Kindle Development Platform to get started.
- Web Designer:
The process of building a website has gone through a lot of twists and turns over the last few decades. It’s now easier than ever to put a Wix or SquareSpace site online in 15 minutes, or even erect a high-functioning WordPress site in less than an hour.
What will set you apart as a web designer is 1) an exceptional eye for detail and function, and 2) marketing and branding to get your name out there as the go-to designer in your particular niche. Look beyond the freelancing marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr, and create a brand and network for your talents.
Set yourself apart in one way or another, and to really build a business, find ways to create value-added packages for monthly fees, i.e. on-page SEO reports, Analytics debriefs, and suggestions to improve and retain site traffic.
And, check out companies like Vendasta. They provide back-end services (including everything mentioned above) to offer to clients without doing any of the work yourself — you just add your markup, sell it, and collect your monthly retainer.
- Mobile Laundry Service:
Busy people don’t have time to do laundry. So, do it for them. For a weekly/monthly fee, you can launder, dry, fold and press clothes, then deliver to each person’s doorstep. Just make sure that 1) Your profits take into account your utility costs and 2) You return the right underwear to each customer.
- Mobile Pet Groomer:
Most pets get stressed out when you take them to the groomer, and most owners don’t have time to sit and wait. So, why not go to them? You can offer a mobile grooming in your clients’ houses, or park your pet-friendly van (properly wrapped in your graphics for high visibility, thank you very much) to their driveway.
- Pet Sitting:
We have 2 beloved cats who we wouldn’t think of boarding. So we found a local petsitter (who also happens to be a vet tech at a local animal hospital) to stay at our house when we’re away. She charges $25 for short visits and $50 for overnights. To us, it’s money well spent to know our babies are taken care of and comfortable in their own beds.
No, it’s not just for 13-year olds. In today’s climate, a trustworthy child care professional is worth their weight in Baby Shark songs. Find ways to demonstrate your value and trustability, ranging from gushing reviews on local review sites to testimonials to certifications in CPR and first aid. And it doesn’t hurt to set up an ongoing, hands-off payment system to make it easier on your clients.
- Business Coach:
Tired of negotiating million-dollar contracts for someone else? Become a coach and help train entrepreneurs and startups to take their business to the next level. There are all kinds of tools you can leverage to make the process easier, such as Zoom and Skype for live video chats, as well as Calendly to let clients set their own time in your open schedule slots. You might even consider joining platforms like Clarity.fm, where you offer your advice and coaching services to their user base on a by-the-minute fee.
The last thing most people want to do on a Saturday or Sunday morning is get out and mow the lawn. For a reasonable monthly fee, you can do all the yard work (pull weeds, rake leaves, refill mulch beds, etc.).
And if you really want to up your game, consider adding landscaping services to your offerings, including creating small backyard gardens, water features, rock paths, fire pit areas with pavers, etc.
- Yoga/Pilates Teacher:
This is one where you can work out of multiple locations; standard gyms, yoga/pilates-specific gyms, or even your home/garage if the conditions are right.
Be sure your liability is covered, however…we live in a sue-happy society, and the wrong client who twists a knee during a class in your backyard should be the last of your worries.
- Electronics Repair:
Just like the mobile device repair entry on the list, consider fixing broken electronics. There’s absolutely a market to fix and/or sell slightly older piecessuch as TVs, stereo receivers, BluRay players, quality record players (which are currently seeing a resurgence!) and even video game systems.
If you are going to resell electronics, do your research first to determine 1) how much your revitalized pieces can sell for, and 2) which venue best suits each one (i.e. eBay, Facebook Marketplace, etc.).
- Raw Land Flipper:
“Real estate investor” usually infers that someone is buying and selling structures/buildings such as houses. But, there are investors out there making a mint on buying and selling raw land. One strategy is to buy and hold parcels of land in an area that’s appreciating, then sell as demand starts to rise. You can also find “problem parcels” that nobody wants, i.e. land whose ownership is disputed by different parties. You find ways to resolve the dispute, and then resell for a tidy profit.
- Vending Machine Route:
This can be a competitive, if not cutthroat business. People love their sodas and snack foods, and the industry is not the easiest one to get into. However, with the tides turning on health-focused eating, there are opportunities popping up for the clever and resourceful to carve out new vending routes featuring higher-quality, healthy products. Speaking of unique and different vending opportunities, did you know there’s a company in Italy that builds vending machines that will actually make a piping hot pizza completely automated and almost completely from scratch (including the crust)!??!
- Limo Driver
Whether it’s Prom night, bachelorette parties, or the occasional visiting diplomat, limos require drivers. You’ll need a specific license, which you get through your state DMV. I recommend you start driving for a local company to learn the ropes. Once you feel like you know the ins and outs of the industry, consider starting your own company. That said this is absolutely a service-focused business. Your livelihood is absolutely based on your reputation and the level of luxury you provide. So, go out of your way to make your passengers feel like their limo ride is more than just a comfy ride from A to B. Make it memorable.
- Live DJ:
I got through my senior year of college as a wedding and event DJ in mid-Missouri. It was hard work, lugging massive speakers around and driving all over the county, but in the end it paid well and was a ton of fun. I learned so much about events, working a crowd, and how to build repeat business. Find local DJ companies who specialize in your area and go for an interview!
- Elderly Caregiving:
The transitioning of Baby Boomers (and their parents) into old age are creating a new market in health and caregiving. Although “old folks homes” still exist, new business models and opportunities are popping up every day. This includes daily, in-home care for those who’d prefer to stay in their houses. As well savvy investors are opening smallish, special care facilities that cater to higher net worth individuals. Somewhere between a hotel, a hospital and a mini-mansion, these facilities require on-site nursing care, front desk staff, and cooks/chefs.
- Give Local Tours:
Over Halloween weekend, my wife and I went on a ghost tour of a historic local area. We didn’t see any ghosts, but we did learn a lot about the evolution of that section of town, including how it was established and how it’s changed over the last 100 years (as well as some haunting history). Nearly every town has an interesting and storied past, and all you have to do to learn about it is ask around, do research online and at local historical societies, etc. Then, create a fun and engaging tour of your area that you (or someone you hire/partner with) perform. Make it fun and interactive. Help people feel the experience through stories and lively anecdotes.
You don’t have to focus on history, either. Beer/wine/spirits tours are a terrific draw, as well as sports events, local shopping highlights, etc.
As far as marketing, you can work to get your tours listed on sites like Eventbrite, NextDoor, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Groupon, etc. And if you REALLY want to work hard, you can contract with national travel agencies to become a vetted local tour guide whose tours are sold as part of package to visiting tourists and travelers.
- Dog Walker:
Wanna go for a walk?? Dog walking is a Side Hustle you can do nearly anywhere, and all you need to start is some minor branding/marketing, some poop bags, and a can-do(g) attitude. This can be a competitive industry, so I would recommend looking at what other companies/walkers in your area are charging so you can set rates accordingly.
By the way, this is one of those services where you can increase your revenue by finding cross-selling opportunities (in other words, finding add-on services and products to offer your clients). Can you offer dog training? What about partnering with local, healthy dog treat makers and offer those to your clients for a small markup? Find ways to add value and additional offerings to not only increase your profits, but set yourself apart in the industry.
English majors, unite! There are an awful lot of misspelled words and missed Oxford commas out there which could use your eagle eyes. You can either go it alone, building your own brand and clientele…OR you could join up with various agencies and freelancing platforms who do the marketing for you. Or both, I guess. And no…that last sentence wasn’t a full sentence. Also, don’t start a sentence with “And”.
The pros: This can be an incredibly easy gig. You sit around watching TV, keep the alarm armed, take out the trash, bring in Amazon packages when they arrive, and pet the cat.
The cons: Housesitting jobs are hard to come by, and you have to convey an awful lot of trust to get people to hand over their house keys to someone who is, in effect, a total stranger.
Consider starting with family. Over glasses of egg nog with your rich uncle this Christmas, subtly slide in the fact that you’re starting a Housesitting Side Hustle and to that you’re around if they ever need someone to keep an eye on things. If it goes well, you’re in. And the best part? Rich people with big houses usually have rich friends with big houses.
- Travel Agent:
The role of a travel agent in today’s highly competitive travel booking landscape has evolved somewhat from what it used to be. Whereas travel agents were the only way to reserve a flight or vacation, the industry (especially the luxury tier) now focuses on concierg-level service. In other words, you meet with a travel agent who learns your needs, and then custom-crafts a vacation tailored to your desires.
As the industry evolves, these vacations are becoming more focused on experiential travel, or things you can do that you otherwise never could, such as climbing to the rim of an active volcano, or staying in African hotels where you’re awakened in the morning by giraffes poking their heads through your second story window. The world of travel agents is still very much alive, and continues to grow and change. You often have to source your own clients, but good agencies provide you with exceptional tools and training to make this happen.
- YouTube Channel Host:
YouTube is amazing. It’s a video site, search engine, advertising portal, and monumental source of distraction, education and entertainment. Anyone can open a free account and begin uploading videos on virtually anything in mere minutes. If you have an interest, passion or topic you know a lot about, you can start a YouTube channel. And best of all, you can monetize through various means — sponsorships, lead generation, affiliate marketing, and even revenue sharing once your “hours watched” and subscriber levels qualify.
- Mobile Notary Public:
When an individual needs a document notarized, she usually goes to the office/location of a notary public. But in recent years, certain NPs have gone mobile and now travel where they’re needed. That can include attorneys’ offices, people’s places of business, or even homes. Now, notarizing documents doesn’t provide a ton of revenue per job, but one can do very well if you stack appointments one after the other…especially if there’s not a ton of travel between each one.
- Course Creator:
The market for online courses has grown by leaps and bounds over the last decade. With the advent of platforms like Udemy, SkillShare, Teachable, etc., online learning is not only easy to consume, but simple as ever to produce. However like any industry where technological barriers come down, the market becomes saturated. So, do your research before diving in. Explore Google Trends, Udemy’s student reporting, Amazon’s bestselling non-fiction book section, and other places where you can get empirical data on courses and topics that are getting consumed. I’d also recommend finding ways to set yourself apart, both through production quality and depth of content. Course creators are constantly raising the bar, so if you’re going to go down this path, make sure you can keep up.
- Affiliate Marketer:
A simple definition of affiliate marketing is when you find a way to generate a sale of someone else’s product, and get a paid a commission as a result. This is not a new model, but the Internet has exploded affiliate marketing over the last several years. I know people who have built multiple 7-figure incomes from this model alone.
That’s not to say it’s easy…far from it. Like any Internet business model, you need traffic, and traffic comes from either investment of time and effort, or money and effort. But the great part is that you don’t have to build and test a product…just help someone else sell theirs.
My friend Shawn Collins is the co-founder of Affiliate Summit, the premiere yearly (and sub-yearly) event for affiliate marketers. It’s a great place to start learning about the industry.
- Sharpen Knives:
If you aren’t already looking, you’d be surprised how hard it is to find a good knife sharpener around. And those awful self-sharpeners on the back of your can opener are simply shortening the life of your knives. Take some classes, do your research and practice the subtle art of good knife sharpening skills. You might start by talking with a local independent knife shop to see how to get into the industry, as well as if they would consider hiring you eventually. If you can’t find a local shop, there are some fantastic tutorials on YouTube.
- Real Estate Wholesaling:
I mentioned this under Real Estate Investor earlier, but it’s worth bringing up again. A wholesaling side hustle combines the best of real estate investing opportunities; you dig up deals and go through the thrill of hunting and negotiating, find good deals and get them under contract, and then sell them to other investors while pocketing a few $1000 in the process without ever having to take on the expense and liability of purchasing a property. And with a properly-structured contract, you can always get out of a deal if you can’t find an investor who wants the deal.
- Virtual Assistant:
If you’re good at writing, are a bloodhound at web research, and can excel at, well…Excel, you might be a terrific virtual assistant. This is a Side Hustle for someone who wants to work independently helping other people get things done. Time management and motivation are essential, but you can almost always find work if you look hard enough. The major platforms (Upwork, Freelancer, etc.) are a good place to start, but you’ll likely make the most if you do some quality networking. Start by finding Facebook groups dedicated to becoming a VA, as well as online marketing.
Ah, blogging. It’s probably the easiest thing on this list to start, but one of the hardest in which to succeed. A successful blog needs three things: 1) Quality content 2) People to consume that content, and 3) Ways to monetize the site. If you want to start one, I suggest you have a solid plan on how you’re going to achieve all 3 of these objectives. There’s certainly no shortage of advice, courses and both paid/free training on building a successful blog.
Ghostwriting is another form of paid writing, where you assume the voice of your client and author written pieces for them, ranging from blog posts to full-length books. The tricky part is nailing your clients’ tone and style. Be sure to have AT LEAST one conversation with her/him about these topics before starting sitting down to work.
- Rent Out Your Car:
Sites like Turo.com are disrupting the car rental landscape by allowing independent car owners to list their car for daily/weekly rentals on their site, which then ideally brings them a slate of customers. It follows the AirBNB model of renting out your property/stuff to turn a profit.
There are some obvious challenges and risks involved here, not the least of which is damage to your car and the insurance involved in covering virtually unknown drivers to get behind your wheels.
However if you can live with those factors, and build the cost of insurance into your cost/benefit analysis of doing this, you may have a great little income stream on your hands with relatively little effort, especially if you can scale upwith multiple cars.
- Rent Out Your House/Spare Room:
There are a lot of ways to turn an empty space into a booming profit center. You can certainly go the AirBNB/VRBO/HomeAway route, although you’ll need to keep ratings high on a regular basis, and seasonality make effect your profits.
You can rent part or all of your home on an annual basis, whether that’s to college students, retirees, or anyone. You can also consider insulating basements and garage spaces and offering them as tinkering workshops or band rehearsal spaces (if you can stand the noise). You could also let a bedroom, attic or any extra space as an small office/s for folks who work remotely but don’t want to pay to rent pricier office space.
One word of caution: local zoning, HOA statutes and other regulations may have a say in how you use your home, especially when it comes to running a business or public interaction. Be sure to do your research so you don’t get shut down after you’ve gone to the trouble of getting a rental agreement in place.
- Teach A Language:
Put your multi-lingual skills to good use! Whether you teach a class at a local community college, hold your own classes through the YMCA or even teach one-on-one lessons in person or via the Internet, there have never been more opportunities to profit by helping others learn a language. A few years ago I hired a tutor on an online platform to learn Italian, and we would meet once a week via Skype for half an hour. She had dozens of clients and from what I could tell, was doing quite a business.
You could also teach other subjects through similar venues; community colleges, in-person, or via online video chat. If you want to keep things nice and simple, you can connect via FaceTime or Skype and send an invoice through PayPal after the lesson is finished!
- Cake Baking:
If you find yourself creating 3-tiered Avengers-themed cakes or spontaneously decide to whip up a batch of triple Belgian chocolate amaretto brownies with hand-scraped vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, you might consider cake baking on the side. My friend Charlotte started baking in her home kitchen and now has orders coming in from all over town. One note: if your business starts to take off, check with your local health department to make sure that you don’t need to be baking in a certified-commercial kitchen.
- Task Rabbit:
Task Rabbit is a platform where you can offer your one-off services in the general field of home repair, maintenance, fixing stuff, building stuff, etc. Although it’s a great platform, you can also do paid handywork around your neighborhood without it. Post your abilities and talents (pictures too, please) on sites like Craigslist, NextDoor, Facebook Marketplace, and others. And the more you can get others to vouch for you and leave you testimonials, the more jobs you’ll get. If you really want to build a business, start stacking up client reviews on sites like Angie’s List, Yelp, and Google reviews.
Although crafting encompasses a lot of individual activities, you tend to sell crafts in the same places, like Etsy and local craft fairs. Crafting is certainly one of those activities where you can find a support community both offline and online, so reach out and connect with others to find out how they’re succeeding. AND always look for ways to build a client list (email, social media, etc.) to attract repeat buyers.
If you want to learn how to sell your crafts through sites like Etsy, you need to learn from the best. Check out my interview with Stephanie Smith:
Etsy Success: How Stephanie Smith Made $183,000 Selling Clothing & Jewelry on Etsy Through Side Hustles
- Furniture Refinishing:
Take a gander in the furniture sections on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and you’ll likely find dozens of listings of coffee tables, dining tables, vintage sewing machines, etc. that might a little worn, but once refurbished, could turn quite a little profit in their new life.
If you’re handy (or can partner with someone who is), you might consider refinishing furniture as a Side Hustle. However, definitely do your research ahead of time to find out what your finished piece is likely to sell for, and try to have an exit strategy for everything you buy BEFORE you buy it. IF you buy a 1920s Singer sewing machine for $200, you don’t want to find out later that they only average $100, even in mint condition.
- Create/Sell T-shirt Designs:
Not even 10 years ago, if you wanted print custom t-shirts, you had to either do it yourself with an expensive silk screening machine or order them in batches at a relatively high price per unit. Technology has made things easier with the advent of POD, or “print-on-demand”. Put simply, when a customer orders a shirt, hat or otherwise from you, the POD outlet prints your pre-uploaded digital design onto the piece, then can fulfill and dropship the order directly to the customer. You never have to touch it (if you choose not to). Amazon noticed the popularity and efficiency of this model and introduced Merch By Amazon, their version of POD.
You might not be licensed by the city to plumb an entire new home build, but can you offer your services to install a new kitchen sink or a high-end, multi-nozzle shower system? Offer fast, guaranteed service and see to it that word spreads (on and offline) about your fast, efficient and friendly service!
- Music Teacher:
When I first started learning how to play the drums about 30 years ago, I had to ask my dad to drive me to lessons at the local drum store several miles away. And although I built relationships and friendships with musicians that way, there are now several ways to eek out a living (or side living) as a digital music teacher. You can create your own “how to play” courses that you offer on your own site, or platforms like Udemy and Teachable. You can also offer individual or packaged lessons via Skype, Facetime or Zoom that you charge for via PayPal or Stripe. And as far as marketing yourself, post clips of individual lessons and/or you playing on YouTube.
- Movie Critic:
You don’t have to be Siskel and/or Ebert to have an opinion about movies. If you consider yourself a cinephile, you can always start a podcast, blog and/or YouTube channel where you give your insights on the latest blockbuster or unknown indie flick. With more original streaming media hitting homes than ever, the opportunities to review shows or films is endless. As far as monetizing those channels, you can find sponsors once you have enough views (and don’t be afraid to start looking early on)!
- Clothing Reseller:
The wasteful “Fast Fashion” trend of the last decade has started giving way to reusing, upcycling and recycling clothing. One major purveyor of this is Poshmark, a marketplace for used designer clothing. There are users who are making A LOT of money through PM, and the concept goes hand-in-hand with the notion of environmental stewardship. There are other, more traditional sales (and acquisition) channels like Facebook Marketplace and eBay, as well, and you can always find merchandise at Goodwill, thrift stores and garage sales.
I’ll be the first to admit that I can’t stand painting a house. Especially the inside. There are a lot of menial tasks involved in doing it right; matching paint colors, taping off walls, applying multiple coats, etc. So I would be your ideal customer if you wanted to pursue housepainting as a Side Hustle. Not only could you paint rooms or even the entire house, but you could offer creative texturing, wallpapering, or even inspired, geometric designs that you find on Houzz.com or Pinterest.
- Shooting Instructor:
Whether at an indoor range or outdoor training course, there’s a growing market for learning how to become more proficient as a responsible and well-trained gun owner. If you’re an independent weapons specialist, consider going through a local range to offer your services, or using Facebook, Google or YouTube ads to geo-target your area, cross-referenced with interests and keywords related to weapons.
- Freelance Musician:
I’ve made a part-time living as a musician since I was 13 years old, and for several years it was my full-time income. For me, it was a dream come true — being able to travel around, doing the thing I loved most and get paid for it. If you’re playing originals, it can be a challenge to make a lot. So a compromise is to learn several dozen covers and start playing out at local/regional bars. You might also contact cruise ships if you are open to contracts lasting several months.
Tip: if you are the one booking the band, learn some basic negotiating skills and find out what other bands in your area are making per night. You don’t want to underprice yourselves, nor bid yourselves out of the market.
- Secret Shopper:
Secret shoppers get paid by companies to get into their stores and pretend to be normal consumers, testing out their courtesy, patience and overall service. You then fill out the corresponding paperwork and get paid! If you’ve ever wanted to make money going shopping, this could be a great Side Hustle for you!
- Stand-up Comedian:
This can be a brutally competitive field. But if you can make people laugh (and perservere through rejection), there are all kinds of new opportunities for you to get the word out. Whether you upload YouTube videos of your standup, create a podcast, publish your own Kindle joke book, etc., you can build a following and income stream without simply relying on ticket sales or a percentage of the door.
- Web Developer:
In this ever growing and splintering arena, a proficient web developer can practically name her or his price. The challenge is finding the right clients around the globe. Find ways to set yourself apart, and show that you stand behind your work. You can do this with a fantastic portfolio, full of case studies and testimonials that demonstrate precisely how you helped your clients exceed objectives, and just what you can do for anyone else.
- Driveway Sealer:
Asphalt driveways inevitably crack over time, and they need to be resurfaced. According to Angie’s List, a homeowner pays $1,687 to reseal a typical residential driveway. By doing this on your own (or with a partner) and not maintaining an office or other overhead, you might be able to undercut the competition and get more business for yourself. Consider marketing your services at house flipping and rehabbing networking events, as those are people who always need well-priced services.
- App Developer:
With the explosion of mobile apps over the last decade, the need for good developers has exploded too. Like any major technology, the bigger it gets, the more that companies find ways to offer cheap solutions at a lower level of quality. Instead, why not offer a high-quality, customized app development service at a reasonable cost? And even better, position yourself as a niche-focused developer, i.e. “the yoga app guy” or “custom travel agency apps at a reasonable cost”.
- Freelance Spreadsheet Creator:
Between Excel, Google Sheets (my personal favorite), and other spreadsheet programs, you can practically make them dance if you know what you’re doing. That can be a steep learning curve, however, and not everyone has the time to build the robust spreadsheet of their dreams.
So, offer custom sheet and formula builds based on customer specs. You can work by the project or by the hour, and never leave the house. Whether marketing yourself via Google Ads, Upwork, or through YouTube videos, you have a virtually unlimited lead base out there…you just have to show how your skills will help make your clients’ work lives easier!
- Diet/Nutrition Coach:
This is one of those industries that will always be there. People always want to eat better, look better, feel better and live longer, and aren’t afraid to spend big bucks to get there. The last several years have seen a significant swing towards cleaner eating, as well as divisive and splintered science as to which is the best way to go. If you can support claims that your particular type of diet (plant-based, Keto, etc.) is the best and develop programs to help individuals, couples and/or families make the transition, you can (literally) write your own meal ticket. This can be achieved through either in-person coaching, group coaching, online coaching, pre-recorded courses, or a hybrid of these.
- Motivational Speaker:
Can you push people to their feet and excite audience members to take decisive action? Motivational speaking is a gig that can be immensely rewarding and fulfilling, not to mention lucrative. However, this is a one of those Side Hustles where the emphasis is truly on the HUSTLE. Keep in mind that you’re not just up there entertaining people; you’re there to motivate them and change hearts and minds. And there’s no shortage of people in your shoes offering their services. Start by leveraging your own transformative life lessons, especially ones that are applicable across different audiences. Even if you choose a specific niche (i.e. mid-level corporate managers, widowed Baby Boomers, etc.), what you have to share should be able to strike some universal chords. And be prepared to take almost any jobs at first in order to get experience and client testimonials under your belt. Check your ego at the stage door, and approach every event from a place of service…after all, you’re there to help make peoples’ lives better in one way or another. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients what they’re having trouble with long before you plan what you’re going to say, and customize portions of each talk to their responses.
- Productivity Consultant:
Everybody wishes they could get more done in less time. How can you help? Offer your services to boost productivity in ways that either individuals, companies or both haven’t already thought of, and you can profit. You can offer pre-set packages that focus on personal home, work or digital space. You could also do an entire productivity makeover where you spend anywhere from a day to a full week with a group to get them working faster and better. For lead generation, consider offering a template or cheat sheet along the lines of “7 Productivity Hacks: Gain Back An Hour (or More) Of Every Single Work Day Starting Now”.
- Speedreading Coach:
These days, everyone seems to have more to do and less time to do it in. Learn to speedread and then help people do the same. If you’re not already a speedreader, there are several books, YouTube videos and Udemy courses that can help you get started, and then you can improve on these methods with your own hacks. Keep notes of these resources, and then produce your own materials on the same platforms!
- Photography Instructor:
With everyone carrying around top-tier cameras in their pocket these days, combined with burgeoning desires to dominate photo-sharing social platforms like Instagram, advanced photography skills are in high-demand. Like many Side Hustles on this list, you have several options to make money from this one, whether you offer in-person training, create content for sites like YouTube, develop paid courses on Udemy or Teachable, or otherwise. If marketing isn’t your thing, you might consider contacting local community colleges and see if they’re looking for instructors so all you have to do is show up and teach.
- Freelance Wedding Florist:
At our wedding, my then-fiance and I had to find an inexpensive flower shop, custom order what we wanted for centerpieces and her bouquet, and then coordinate the pickup and arrangement of everything. Combined with everything else we had going on, it was a big (beautiful) hassle that we would have gladly handed off to a pro if we’d had the budget.
If floral selection and arrangement are in your wheelhouse, market yourself as a Freelance Floral Delivery & Arrangement Specialist. Start by forging relationships with local flower wholesalers, then connect with wedding venues and event coordinators to get your name out there. This is a Side Hustle where visuals are key, so make it easy for both service providers and couples to view your work, both in-persona and online. Instagram and Pinterest are an excellent place to start, but I’d recommend also building portfolios on Facebook, as well as a robust and easy-to-navigate website.
- Dating Coach:
You might be a natural when it comes to dating, but there are plenty of people who need your help. Consider offering guest posts to local bloggers and newspapers to get your name out there. You can also hold short seminars to generate leads. For instance, offer a two-hour course at a local venue called, “How To Get 10 Dates in The Next 10 Days”. Teach your attendees 3 key takeaways, and at the end, give a friendly sales pitch for one-on-one coaching.
- Dog Trainer:
Dog owners may have the best of intentions, but more often than not they don’t have the time to follow through and keep Rover following the rules. Become an at-home dog trainer, and help keep the family peace. In this case, video is your best friend. Consider two types: 1) Examples of you training multiple types of dogs and the corresponding successes, especially when it comes to keeping noise down and people safe and comfortable. Let’s face it — people are more concerned about their family and guests’ well-being than if the dog can play dead. And 2) Specific testimonials from other clients who appreciate what you’ve done for them.
- Personal Branding Coach:
Part of what sells an online personality, public speaker or business consultant is their personal brand. Someone’s “brand” is an overall aesthetic, appearance and feel, tied together through both perceptible and imperceptible elements. That description is high-level and vague on purpose, since personal branding is different for everyone. But for starters, “brand” can include how you talk, what you say, how you approach people, consistent colors in your collateral and products, etc. If you’re a pro at building brand elements and can assemble a cohesive personal package that boosts someone’s credibility, marketability and bankability, this could be the Side Hustle for you.
- Public Speaking Coach:
Effective public speakers know how to use language in a way that captures attention and keeps it.
The real skill involved in this Side Hustle, however, is showing potential clients just how much their work and life could improve by becoming a better speaker, as this skill isn’t just applicable to getting up in front of big crowds.
You can teach people how to give better presentations to their work teams or supervisors to encourage compliance and participation. On a personal level, better presentation skills mean telling stories in a more interesting way so that a friend or partner stays engaged while you’re talking.
If you can help people understand why working with you as a public speaking coach will help them advance in their lives, your earning potential will be huge.
- Body Language Coach:
Although Body Language could included in other types of coaching, you could certainly niche down and focus on how people interpret gestures, posture, proximity, etc. This could be especially helpful to higher-level managers who are looking to improve nuances of communication.
Looking to progress beyond your dismal earning power as a line cook? Parlay those great recipes into a catering business and charge what you’re worth! You might consider partnering with someone who runs the front of house, so to speak, when it comes to interacting with clients and booking jobs. But if you’re a true DIYer, start by marketing yourself through wedding and event conventions, as well as pressing the flesh with other service providers, such as reception/banquet hall managers, day-of-coordinators, DJs, etc.
Sometimes you need more than just a well-intentioned DJ to get people on the dance floor. This new breed of entertainers includes not just someone playing high-energy songs and emceeing the event…it’s an entire dance crew putting on a show, getting guests involved, and teaching how people how to dance so that they feel like part of the action. If you’re interested in starting this kind of Side Hustle, I’d recommend hiring and training a crew larger than you need as you never know who will call out sick.
- Coffee Roaster:
Technological advances have made it easier than ever for anyone to buy their own at-home roaster, source and roast raw beans, then create and sell their own line of coffee that they market and sell through their own monthly subscription service like Cratejoy or Shopify. You can source pre-printed bags and labels through companies like Roastar using your own designs, which you can have created through resources such as 99Designs or Upwork, etc. And if you want to launch your own line of coffee but don’t want to do the roasting yourself, consider private labeling through companies like SpecialtyJava.com!
- Home Beer Brewer:
Home brewers are a passionate and driven bunch. Bolstered by formidable beer recipes and even more formidable beards, most mid-to-large (or even enterprise-level) craft breweries started in the garage. You can do this as well, knowing that to take things to a retail/commercial level involves some heavy permitting and approvals through local and state government.
- Home Spirits Distiller:
Same thing goes for spirits. Tinkering and tweaking at home is one thing, but to get your booze approved for sale, make sure you follow legal regulations. And spend some time on your branding…there’s nothing worse than a great spirits company folding too soon because their products don’t stand out on the shelf.
- Stock/Bonds/Futures/Options/Forex/Crypto Trader:
Yes, these are all different financial instruments. However, they carry a relatively similar structure of making (and potentially losing) money. As well, there are hundreds of supposed “experts” who will gladly accept your money with promises of huge ROIs. Keep in mind that there’s a reason why up to 90% (or higher) of people who go into trading lose their shirt. Your best bet is to find an instructor or team who can prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they will teach you how to produce reasonable returns on a consistent basis using that instrument. If someone promises they will make you rich with little effort, run for the hills.
- Music Video Producer:
It’s easier than ever to record music. If you got the skillz to direct, film and edit videos at a price that musicians can afford, you might have a really fulfilling Hustle on your hands.
Bonus tip: Get in good with someone who knows how to do modern marketing for musicians and help each other out.
- Video Editor:
There are millions of minutes of video recorded and uploaded to sharing sites every single day, which means there are tons of videos that need editing. If you’re looking for a place to start, consider easier programs like Camtasia (also great for screen recording) and Adobe Premiere Elements. When you’re ready to go big, learn Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects.
- Car Retrieval:
Companies like Luxe have disrupted the parking and valet industries by allowing users to park their car “anywhere”. At that point, a Luxe valet will meet them, take the car to be washed and safely stored, then meet them anywhere they want with their vehicle. Currently this company is only operating in San Francisco, but others are sure to follow the model if it does well.
- Event Production:
Live event production is a MASSIVE industry, ranging from small company parties to multi-million dollar conventions. You can bite off a chunk of this industry as your own Side Hustle as an independent event producer. Start with smaller events, like company parties for people you know. As you hone your skills, connections and vendors list, start taking on bigger projects, like promotional launch events or small conventions. Keep in mind that you will have to work within client budgets, and part of your hire-ability will be YOUR ability to keep costs down. Always look for ways to trim the fat without reducing the fun.
- Personal Finance Advisor/Budgeting Specialist:
Are you good with budgets? Are you a ninja when it comes to finding ways to significantly reduce discretionary entertainment spending without changing the number of nights out per month? Individuals, couples and families are always looking for ways to save money, so become the “family finance fixer” or “couples’ cash cruncher”. If you position yourself correctly, your selling point is that you pay yourself through the savings they’ll see by working with you.
NOTE: There are tons of free tools on the web to find ways to save money; everything from cash back site comparisons to budgets within budgets. Find creative and new ways to save money that people are unlikely to find on their own in a quick search.
- Event Host:
If you’re good in front of a crowd and know how to keep people engaged, you could market yourself as an Event Host. This could include everything from emceeing public events, conventions and trade shows, to being a freelance wedding officiant, to being the person on the revolving platform who espouses the new model at the auto show.
- Wedding Officiant:
I’ve done this several times, and it’s actually really fun. I mean, what’s better than helping two people (or more in Utah) profess their love for each other in a public setting while keep things upbeat, meaningful and entertaining? Be sure to check laws in your state (usually the County Clerk’s office) to make sure they recognize your ability to perform a legal ceremony and what’s involved.
- Musical Instrument Repair:
That cracked Stradivarius ain’t going to fix itself. Learn how to resolve cosmetic, structural and functional issues in one or more types of instruments, and you could have a long line of ongoing work, especially with the recent trend towards repurposing older instruments vs. just buying new ones.
For a Side-Side Hustle, search on Facebook Marketplace for broken instruments, buy them cheap, fix them up and resell for profit!
- Accountability Partner:
It’s easy to make a resolution. The hard part is sticking to it. So, offer your services as an Accountablity Partner-for-hire who helps in whatever ways needed, including but not limited to calling/texting every day to make sure things get done, accompanying someone to the gym, going to the grocery store to knock that box of Twinkies out of someone’s hand, etc. You’ll be the maven of discipline. No, not like that.
- Real Estate Agent:
Great for people who are patient, resourceful, detail-focused and love to look at a lot of properties. The process of becoming a licensed real estate agent varies from state to state, but helping clients buy and sell houses is pretty similar in most parts of the country.
The cons? It can be a lot of follow-up and prospecting, and you might go a long time without making any money.
The pros? Once that check is in your hands, it can be BIG. I mean, ZEROS for days…especially if you’re in a high-priced market.
- Event Ticket Arbitrage:
Buy tickets at certain prices, resell for more. Sites like StubHub act as resale marketplaces for concert, sporting and event tickets. You may have certain opinions on the ethics behind this, but at the very least this is a verifiable way to resell tickets you aren’t going to use versus taking chances with a back-alley scalper.
- Wine Party Host:
People love learning more about wines from around the world; how they’re produced, their history, good pairings, and more. And wine parties are just good, plain fun! If you don’t feel qualified to talk up the vintages or put the party together, consider partnering with a local sommelier. You could rent out a swanky venue, such as a small club, a condo building’s common area, a nicer co-working space, or even a rooftop pool. Just be sure you feel secure with your liabilty — you might consider having attendees sign waivers, as well as have ride sharing services at the ready.
- Meetup Group Host:
I’ve hosted several Meetup groups over the last decade. That’s actually how my wife and I first met — through a vegetarian Meetup group I founded in Austin, Texas. Being a Meetup Group Host can be great fun, and if you structure it right, you can find ways to bring in sponsors or use their platform monetization features. However, keep in mind that you have to provide an immense amount of value for members before they consider pulling their credit cards out, so think about what you can do/provide through the group that they couldn’t find somewhere else. Pick your favorite hobby or subject and start organizing!
- Fashion Consultant:
If your love of “playing dress up” extends to real people and you can help transform someone from “blah” to “bangin'”, this one might be for you. Before/after photos are going to be essential in your marketing, as well as testimonials from clients about how you made them FEEL, how the process has changed their lives, and how they couldn’t have done it without you.
- Video Game Play Video Host:
Search YouTube for “commentary” and the name of your favorite game, and you’ll likely find dozens of videos of master players and their real-time voiceovers during gameplay. Monetizing these channels are like any others: if you meet YT’s viewership requirements to share in the ad revenue, you’ll bank. You can also find sponsors for your channel and mention them during your videos.
- Mobile Sound Person:
If you know how to make a band, artist or single speaker sound good in different types of venues and rooms, a Side Hustle in mobile audio could be the right gig for you. You’ll definitely need pro gear, but consider going “lightly used” your first time out and then level up as the money comes in.
If you know your stuff but aren’t sure how to market yourself, start by looking on sites like GigSalad.com and www.thumbtack.com/k/cover-bands/near-me/. You’ll find listings and contact info for dozens of local bands, so reach out to as many as possible and offer your services. Consider giving a free trial gig so they can see how you’re going to, ahem…rock their world. (awful, sorry)
- Home Theater Consultant And Installer:
Home theaters are bigger than ever, and consumers have more audio, video and decorating choices than ever before. Find ways to contain the chaos and not only make sensible recommendations for each room, but either install everything or hire the techs to do it, along with a corresponding service fee. Pro tip: Look on home sites like Houzz.com for ideas and inspiration.
- Jewelry Crafter:
Well-crafted, custom jewelry pieces can be stunning. If you’re capable of producing fine pieces that incorporate a client’s whims and desires, they’ll pay top dollar for it. Keep in mind, though…this is an image business. You can’t be seen as “some gal or guy who works out of their musty garage” and expect to demand top dollar. Brand yourself as a luxury-focused pro who can do what those expensive name-brand stores without charging exorbitant premiums.
- Loan Shark:
Okay, joking about the “shark” part. Don’t go breaking any knee caps. Instead, become someone who makes small loans for a reasonable return on your investment. The P2P (peer to peer) lending industry is booming, and there are all kinds of legit ways to do it these days. Check out LendingClub.com, FundingHero.com, Kiva.com, etc.
- Create Authentic Movie Rooms:
This has some definite overlap with the “Home Theater Consultant” Side Hustle. But creating an authentic movie room has more to do with building an aura and atmosphere, which can be achieved through all kinds of small touches. Whether hanging up framed movie posters, installing an authentic popcorn machine, rigging up a shelf full of big boxes of candy, affixing dramatic black or red curtains around the walls, installing ambient mood lighting, or even building multiple seating tiers with plush leather recliners, a quality movie room is just plain fun (and lucrative if you can do it well)!
- Furniture Restoration:
There are two parts to this one. First off, if you’re handy with tools and know how to repair antiques that keep them authentic to the original builds, this could be a great gig for you. Second, search for “antique furniture restoration” on YouTube. You’ll see that some channels are receiving massive amounts of views — even in the multiple millions! If you film the restoration process, you can edit and upload the videos to your channel and, voila — additional income stream!
- Music Marketing:
We already talked about Music Video Production…Music Marketing is another one where you can leverage the talents of other people so that you both benefit. For live shows, it definitely helps to have (or build) a massive regional contact list of booking agents and clubs. If you’re building an online following for your artists, look into how to do effective influencer marketing, as you want well-known and connected people doing the talking for you. You can also find YouTube channels where people who are posting “reaction” videos, and see if you can get them to “react” to your artists.
- Pet Food/Treat Creator:
Pet food that you buy at the store is often loaded with fillers and preservatives. Even the “healthy” ones are made to be shelf stable, meaning it’s not the freshest food around. Instead, find some good pet food/treat recipes online, put your own spin on them, and launch your own line of delicious, healthy pet treats. Your selling points could revolve around what the big brands can’t offer — being handmade and cooked/baked with locally-grown ingredients. Consider selling at local farmers markets and fairs, as well as marketing your products on NextDoor and other community sites and threads. I’d also suggest getting a simple logo and some packaging developed, for which you can turn to Fiverr or 99Designs.
- Mobile Manicure Technician:
My wife orders nail polish kits online, and she constantly receives compliments on how beautiful they look — salon quality, in fact. You can do the same! Order inexpensive supplies via Amazon and learn some salon secrets through YouTube videos. Then, build a business where you offer at-home manicures. You may have to experiment with pricing to see what people will pay, but the “at-home” component can add a premium. As with any at-home and public-related service, make sure you’re familiar with local health department regulations.
- Moving Box Reseller:
When we were moving across the country, I was in constant need of various size boxes. If you can offer a moving box delivery service, you’re providing a much-needed commodity and taking the hassle out of the process! In terms of building your inventory, you would be surprised how many people give away free boxes after they are finished with them — keep an eye on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. As far as marketing, consider running Google and YouTube ads with keyword and interest targeting around “uhaul”, “moving truck” and others related to moving.
- Mattress Flipper:
My friend and e-commerce expert Julie Starr and her husband do this as a business, and are apparently KILLING it. Check out our interview to learn more.
- Storage Unit Clean Up:
When someone moves, decides to pare down, or passes away, there’s often a storage unit full of stuff that they (or relatives) don’t want to deal with, let alone tidy up to preserve a security deposit. Offer a service where you go through and inventory the contents of the unit, transport the “saves” and trash/recycle (or resell) everything else, and then sweep up the empty floor. You’re saving people hassle AND get first pick at whatever they don’t want. This can prove to be an additional revenue stream you didn’t expect!
- Supplement Business:
A good deal of my early voiceover income came from narrating video sales letters for clients selling their own line of supplements. Google “private label supplements” and you’ll see what I’m talking about. In this Side Hustle, you contract with a company that is creating a line of supplements that address any number of health concerns. You create (or pay them to create) your own labeling and branding for the bottles, and then you build a sales funnel around the products. Creating and selling supplements can be EXTREMELY lucrative; some of my clients grossed 8-9 figures per year.
However, it involves extensive funnel testing, and you have to have the budget to make it happen (which doesn’t include the initial set up and production costs with the manufacturer). There are also stringent FTC guidelines to which you have to adhere in your copy.
Finally, be sure you find a quality manufacturer right from the start. The last thing this world needs is someone else selling snake oil, i.e. an expensive placebo that does nothing.
- CBD Oil Sales Person:
CBD (cannabidiol, or the beneficial and non-psychoactive chemical compounds found in marijuana and hemp available in oils, creams, chocolates, gummies, etc.) has absolutely exploded in the last few years. Those who champion the stuff claim it helps with everything from anxiety and pain management all the way down to improving skin conditions. You can even get it specifically formulated for pets, too.
As is the case with any supplement, there’s a wide range of manufacturers and even greater variances of quality, so be sure to 1) do your due diligence before committing to an order, and 2) consult your state and local laws to make sure you’re complying with any and all applicable regulations.
- Rare Coin Sales And Arbitrage:
Coin collecting and sales can be lucrative and fun, and there’s no shortage of places to market them. Learn how to evaluate the condition of rare coins, and then start going after offers with both online and local auctions, dealers and buyers.
WORD OF WARNING: Unless you’re an absolute pro, don’t try to clean coins yourself. Doing so might actually LOWER the coins’ value.
- Scrap Metal Sales:
Different scrap metals each sell for different prices, and those prices fluctuate. Like any resale business, figure out where your supply will come from and where you’ll get the best price for each individual metal BEFORE you start this Side Hustle.
Take a look at www.iscrapapp.com/prices/ to get a sense of current pricing.
- Hang Up Christmas Lights / Holiday Decorating:
Every good Christmas comedy movie features a scene of some poor schmo almost falling off of a roof while trying to hang up Christmas lights. Instead, become your own roving Clark Griswold and offer a service to create beautiful light and lawn decorations, as well as delivering and setting up Christmas trees, decorative bannister garlands, etc. And be sure to get high-quality pictures before you leave a job, as that’s what’s going to secure work next year!
- Mobile Bicycle Repairs:
Every garage has an old, broken down bike sitting there, waiting for a tune-up. But for most people, it’s a hassle to secure it to the car and get it to the bike shop. Why not pack your tools in the car and offer a mobile bike fix-it service?
You can reset and oil chains, replace tires and shine up frames so that when spring hits, riders are ready to hit the streets. You might not be able to offer the same services a bike store can, but most people don’t need a complete overhaul.
Tip: Time your heavy marketing pushes to coincide with rising temperatures, and offer monthly packages that include light cleanings and tire reinflations.
- Social Media Expert:
Every single business, big or small, can benefit from a well-executed social media presence. But those can be tricky waters to navigate, and most companies don’t have the time (nor desire) to learn how each platform should factor into their marketing strategy. Become a social media pro and help companies and individual brands leverage the power of social to help build their brand and attract clients and conversions. My best advice is DON’T undervalue your services, either. Do your research to find out what other SM experts are charging, and create monthly retainer packages that state exactly what you’re going to do for your clients each month.
Want to learn how to start making recurring monthly income as a Social Media expert? Check out my friends Kate and Jesse’s comprehensive training program Social Media Pro. The course teaches you exactly how to become a highly-sought after pro, even if you’re starting from scratch.
- Local Marketing/Google Reviews:
This is another service you can offer local clients…one that can spell HUGE returns if done correctly. Google Reviews are undoubtedly one of the most effective avenues for new customer acquisition for local businesses. Learn how to generate dozens (if not 100s) of positive, 5-star reviews for your clients, and watch their business skyrocket. I know Google review companies that charge thousands of dollars per year per client, and their clients are stunningly grateful to pay for their services.
- Smoothie/Breakfast Delivery:
Customers of smoothie shops gladly fork over up to $15 per drink every single morning to stay healthy and energized. Why not do this at home and deliver custom-blended drinks to thirsty neighbors every morning? You could even offer monthly packages that autobill your customers and offer them new, exciting drink choices in addition to reliable, consistent menu options. You might also consider partnering with local farmers and producers for your produce — a terrific selling point you could include in your marketing. If you need logistical help, start with a Shopify store. They are easy to use and highly customizable for the options you want to offer.
- Backyard Garden Construction:
A backyard garden is more than just tossing a couple plants in pots; good gardens are set up to receive appropriate sun and necessary irrigation, discourage pests, and just plain look nice. Turn that green thumb into greenbacks and build custom, beautiful, functional gardens for homeowners. As far as marketing, extol the virtues of fresh produce from your own backyard, as well as being prepared and stocked with healthy food in case of local disasters where homeowners can’t get to the store.
- Backyard Garden Maintenance And Harvest:
For the exceptionally lazy homeowner, you can offer to come back and maintain that garden on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis. This can include watering, pruning, nurturing and even picking/cleaning the fruit/vegetables grown. I smell a monthly membership fee…
- Fresh Produce Sales:
And finally, grow your OWN produce and sell it at local farmers markets for a healthy markup. You might also consider creating an organic delivery box where you sign up customers for weekly or bi-weekly produce deliveries, right to their doorsteps. Keep it fun by including surprise items that they weren’t expecting on each drop-off.
- Flea Market Booth:
Got a lot of knick-knacks laying around that might fetch a few bucks? Did you just inherit more “treasures” than you know what to do with? Consider renting a booth at a flea market or antique consignment store. Flea markets tend to require you to be there, while you set up the booth in your corner of the consignment store and let them handle the staffing and selling. Be careful…you might just get addicted to the process when you see a few dollars rolling in on a regular basis.
- PLR Content Production:
PLR, or “Private Label Rights”, is content (articles, courses, ebooks, videos, etc.) that you can purchase and put your own branding on it. It’s designed for people who don’t want to put the effort into developing their own content, put still want to be able to push information out there for their audience, either for sale or promotional usage.
You can create your own PLR content and sell it to marketers, bloggers or really anyone who needs quality content. There’s a growing demand for video-based PLR, so consider hiring a voiceover and video producer to help you build it out.
- Stock Audio Production:
Ever wonder where people find sounds, background music and other audio clips? You can find thousands of these pieces on stock audio sites like AudioBlocks.com, AudioJungle.net, PremiumBeat.com and dozens of others. If you know your way around a recording and/or beatmaking program, you can make and sell your own audio clips for all kinds of applications. Profits range based on site and usage, but it’s not a bad day when you can get paid to sit at home and make music!
- Hang Up Blinds And Curtains:
Assist local homeowners hang up their blinds and curtains for a small fee. If you’re quick and have a reliable, bad-ass drill, you can book multiple jobs on nights/weekends and make some good scratch in the process. Consider networking with real estate agents — they know precisely when a new homeowner is moving in without window treatments and recommend you.
- Attic Transformations:
Most new home builds (or even existing houses) are sold without usable attic space. Not only can you install solid, walkable flooring, but create storage solutions for those old boxes and Christmas decorations that homeowners don’t need regular access to. You could also build out the space to become an extra living room, play room or man cave.
Bonus tip: Work with an air conditioning tech to convert hot attics into comfortable, climate-controlled spaces.
- Low-Budget Wine Room Builder:
Professionally-built home Wine Rooms can be VERY expensive for homeowners, and often require coordinating with multiple contractors. But with some inexpensive tables/chairs, a few tasteful, wall-mounted wine racks and repurposed wooden wine crates for storage (ask at your local wine shop or liquor store), you can build a beautiful and functional wine room for less than the cost of a bottle of 2000 Chateau Lafite Rothschild (much less, as that stuff ain’t cheap)! Install color-changing LED lights under furniture for dramatic ambient lighting effects, and hang vintage French posters you find online for a touch of class. There are endless wine-themed signs, decorations, etc. that can serve as knick-knacks, too.
- Home Smart Switch Installer:
Smart Switches to control indoor/outdoor lighting at your home are fairly affordable, but they require a basic knowledge of home electricity. Offer to install and program these switches for home owners for less than the price of a licensed electrician.
- Unwanted Reptile Relocator:
When we moved into our Houston, Texas home last year, we discovered that there’s a woman who will relocate snakes within 60 minutes of getting your call. If you can get there faster than local Animal Control and aren’t afraid of our slithery friends, this might be the Side Hustle for you.
- Craft Brewery Tour Host:
Small, independent craft breweries are popping up all over the country. Not only can it be overwhelming to get to all of them, it’s not exactly safe to get behind the wheel after hitting multiple locations in one day.
Offer local tours of several craft breweries in your city, along with light snacks and a free branded koozie or bottle opener. Consider coordinating with the breweries you’re visiting so that your tour dovetails with their own.
It also wouldn’t hurt to get in good with tourism agencies and travel sites who can help promote your new service.
- Massage Therapist:
A certified massage therapist helps relieve muscle tension and aid in overall health and wellness. This does require some schooling and certifications, but many therapists work from home in a spare room or even go mobile and travel to clients’ homes. Biz idea: Become the go-to corporate massage therapist in your office and market your services at local HR conventions and gatherings.
- Ikea (Etc.) Furniture Assembler:
Ikea recently began partnering with TaskRabbit to offer in-home assembly of their furniture. You can sign up for TaskRabbit, or go at it independently and market yourself as an Ikea furniture assembly pro. As far as marketing, consider putting a Google ad campaign together for remarketing to anyone who 1) has visited Ikea’s website and/or 2) anyone who lives within a 10 mile radius of your local store.
- Book Reseller/Arbitrage:
Even with consumer preferences strongly sliding towards ebooks, printed books are still alive and well, especially in the worlds of rare books and textbooks. With multiple marketplaces out there, you can find books either in local shops or online, and then resell on Amazon, eBay or elsewhere.
However, you have to know what you’re doing here or you can get hammered fast. There are some fantastic online tools to help judge where to find your highest profit for each unit.
First, Tactical Arbitrage is an incredible piece of arbitrage software specific to the Amazon marketplace (not just books). Second, eFlip is renowned among book sellers as one of the best, as is our last one: ZenArbitrage. All will help you find books and profit from reselling…you just have to pick which is the right one for you.
- Picture Framing & Hanging Service:
Does this picture look straight? Create an all-in-one service by uploading the homeowner’s digital pictures to a printing service, transforming them into high-quality prints, framing them, and hanging them in the homeowners’ desired location. It’s a fairly simple, repeatable straightforward service, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone offer this time and effort saver. You could offer tiered pricing based on the frame sizes and quality, as well as the difficulty of hanging each picture.
- Wedding Dress Preservation Service:
I’ve seen dry cleaners do this, but WOW is it pricey. Can you do it cheaper? Will you pick up and deliver? How can you offer a preservation service that goes above and beyond the dry cleaner competition?
- Wedding Invitation Creation:
Wedding invitations are that crucial piece of the wedding puzzle that conveys a sense of style and personality, and there are more options than ever when it comes to design, printing, delivery, etc. If you know your way around a design program and can bend to a bride and/or groom’s desires without flinching…all while offering a reasonable price, this could be a terrific Side Hustle.
- Wedding RSVP & Follow-Up Service:
With all the tasks associated with a wedding, it can be a challenge to keep up with every RSVP that comes in, as well as any updates that have to go out related to bachelor/ette parties, rehearsal dinners, morning-after brunches, etc.
Why not create a service that combines postal mail, SMS and social platforms where you essentially become the de facto “Communications Director” for weddings? You’re in charge of getting messages out to the appropriate people and making sure everybody knows where to be and when. That takes the pressure off of key wedding personnel, who can then relax and enjoy the festivities!
- Garage Storage/Organization Designer/Installer:
A garage can be a terrific place for extra storage, but trying to DIY it is not only a challenge…it’s a hassle. If you’re a pro at determining best use for small spaces, you might consider becoming a Garage Storage Organizer/Installer for your Side Hustle.
Additional Benefit: Since you’ll have so much business that you can order wholesale or straight from manufacturers, you can design and install storage for your own garage much cheaper!
- Film Transfer Service:
8 MM and other old family films are ruined every day because of elemental degradation. Why not offer a service where you transfer old movies to digital and cloud storage for people?
Yes, there are already companies that do this, but I personally wouldn’t feel safe boxing up my precious, one-of-a-kind family movies and sending them through the post office, where they become vulnerable to damage and theft. (That could be part of your sales pitch, btw…)
- Book Summary Service:
Remember Cliff’s Notes where you could buy a “digest” version of long, boring books to use for school reports? Well, there actually was a Cliff. And although he passed away a long time ago, he sold the company in 1999 for $14 million! Well instead of just summarizing through printed guides, you could do 5-minute video summaries and offer them via a paid membership service…something like “‘read’ a book every week in 5 minutes or less for only $9.99 a month — way less than the cost of actually buying the books!”
- Exercise Equipment Installer:
We installed TRX bands in our workout room when we moved into our new house, and from the instructions you would think we were bracing a phone tower into the wall. Exercise equipment is designed to undergo some heavy abuse, so offer a service where you perform safe and correct installation for home owners. This can also include assembling exercise machines like treadmills and ellipticals (which can give you just as much of a workout as the machines do).
- Television Installer:
A TV wall bracket needs to go on the wall correctly, or else that brand new, $5,000, 85″ LG OLED is going to come crashing down. Offer installation services, as well as discounts for multiple installs. And if you really believe in your work, you can offer a guarantee to replace the TV if the bracket comes off the wall or the TV off the bracket. If that ever happens, you can likely resell the broken TV to recoup some cash.
- Ceiling Fan Installer:
Ceiling fans are a pain. For the uninitiated, it can take 2-3 hours or more to hang them correctly and ensure they’re properly wired up (plus a storm of profanity, sure to invite complaints from the neighbors). Offer this service to homeowners, as well as discounts for more than one install. Best of all, you can see what other handyman jobs a homeowner needs and offer additional services while you’re there.
- Solar Panel Sales:
Sales is a tough game, but solar panels have a ton of benefits that can fuel (ha) your pitch. Find a reputable company that delivers quality products. Hopefully they provide you with warm leads, but if not, I’ve seen geo-targeted YouTube ads where the salesperson actually mentions the region by name. (i.e. “if you’re in the San Diego area, did you know you can get a major tax credit by installing solar panels before the end of the year?”)
- Car Purchase Co-Negotiator:
Very few people enjoy negotiating for cars. If you’re one of a rare breed who enjoys it and is good at it, consider being a “negotiator for hire”. The more you do it, the more you’ll get to know dealer margins and motivations, as well as the best times of the month to go in and strike a deal.
You’ll have to first lay out some terms with your buyer, like whether you’ll get a percentage of the savings, a flat fee, or something else…as well as what happens if you aren’t able to make a deal. But this could be a highly-valued service for people who hate this process, especially going through it alone.
- Wine Crate Reseller:
Wooden wine crates can be repurposed for crafts, decorative record storage, plant holders, or as we did in our wine room, a clever place to hold liquor bottles. Find them at your local liquor store, and don’t be afraid to negotiate for them, especially if you’re taking more than one. You can resell them on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, or at a flea market or consignment shop. You could also use them to create wine-related decorations and sell them on Etsy!
- “When You’re Sick” Stand-In Mom:
The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re sick is go to the store to pick up soup and Gatorade or run to Walgreens to retrieve their meds. You could become a “mobile Mom”, offering to deliver hot food and medication to their doorstep, as well as a few “care package-y” items to help put your patient on the mend.
- Sell Survival Prepper Packages:
The “Prepper” movement is massive, and the corresponding products market is just as big. Whatever your political stance or belief about where our country is headed, there’s no denying there’s a selling opportunity within this community. Whether it’s a bug-out bag, long-term survival kit, emergency readiness supplies or otherwise, find holes in the market and create packs or gear bundles that people want and need.
- Test Prep:
Beyond just a standard tutoring service, how can you help students be truly ready for certain tests? Perhaps you’re a former instructor who knows the pitfalls and sneaky tricks of a big certification exam? Or maybe you’ve been through certain tests multiple times and are confident you can help others do the same. Whatever qualifies you to help, you can either do so with one student at a time, or en masse via courses on Teachable, Udemy or your own site. I personally love Kartra — it’s an all-in-one solution for not just building a course, but selling it as well.
- Expert Witness:
Remember that scene in the movie My Cousin Vinnie where a supposed car expert comes in to testify, and then Vinnie’s (Joe Pesci) wife Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) comes in and clobbers him with her extensive knowledge of cars? That could be you!
If you are extremely well-versed in any particular area, you could establish yourself as an expert witness for hire, then market yourself within the legal community.
You don’t have to be a wizard of just cars, of course. Engineering, plumbing, homebuilding, the human body, psychology, air quality…if there are lawsuits being filed about a subject, then an expert witness could help make or break a case.
By the way, fees for expert witnesses range in the $8,000-$15,000 range!
- Exotic Car Rental:
You see Exotic Car Rental companies in cities like Las Vegas, Miami, NYC, Houston…any major metropolis where there’s money to burn.
To be clear, this is not a cheap proposition. You first have to own or get access to these vehicles…pricey ones, like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, McLarens, high-end Audis and BMWs, Porsches, etc. Then you have to convince an insurance company why it’s a good idea for them to underwrite you and the people you’ll be renting these beasts out to. After that, you have to market your new venture and get to the word out to people who not only have the interest, but the wherewithal to pay your daily rate.
But, that rate can be substantial…I’ve seen Lambos go for $1K-2K per day. If you’re paying $5K a month on the purchase, anything after 3-5 rentals is pure profit on each car.
- Car Storage and Maintenance:
If someone’s got 3 cars and only a 2-car garage, they need somewhere safe and clean to store the 3rd one.
Whether you have extra space in your own garage or have access to a secure, empty facility, consider renting it out for a weekly or monthly fee. If you’re offering your personal garage for rental, you’ll probably want to do a background check before you give someone access to your family home. But all in all, this could be an easy, passive stream of income.
- Repurpose old gumball, candy and cigarette machines:
I’ve noticed a trend of finding new uses for old gumball, candy and cigarette machines. Some people are bundling stickers or toys, or license a team logo to go on small pieces of merchandise, and then sell them for a quarter at a time. Profit margins might be small, but if you can place units in multiple locations, those little coins add up quick. At the Whole Foods in Austin, TX, there’s a former cigarette machine that’s been converted into a sales hub for small pieces of art.
Be creative! How can you support your local community and make a profit at the same time?
- Moving Planner, Researcher and Facilitator For New Cities:
Moving sucks. There’s so much to do and coordinate, not to mention the emotional component of moving away from home into a place that might feel foreign and unfamiliar.
Well instead of simple guidebooks, offer to be a city researcher based on a person or family’s specific needs.
For instance, let’s say Dad loves to surf and Mom loves her craft coffee, while Johnny and Suzie want to live close to their new school, all while staying in a safe neighborhood that offers 4 bedroom houses in a $400K-$500K price range. That might be hours of searching not only houses and neighborhoods, but business rankings on Google/Yelp and crime statistics.
You could not only do the research and deliver the curated results to the family, but take care of all of the logistical arrangements, like booking a moving truck for the best price, or coordinating with utility companies to arrive at a certain date and time for installation.
Yes, this involves a great deal of trust with people’s sensitive information, but if you can prove that you can be trusted, then there’s a need for this concierge-style service.
- Beach Chair & Picnic Setup Service:
A day at the beach? Hardly! Packing sandwiches, drinks, chairs, umbrellas, and then lugging it all from the trunk then back to the sand is exhausting.
So, why not offer a beach furniture and picnic set-up service, complete with gourmet sandwiches and top-tier, comfy beach chairs? If the family’s arriving at 11 AM, you’ll have staked out a spot (based on the request) and set everything up, ready to meet them at 10:55!
White glove service and delicious, delivered meals…at the beach!
P.S. If you don’t live near the beach, then move to one!
- On-Call Veterinary Advice Hotline:
Uh oh…our Yorkie swallowed a square of chocolate at 2 AM and our vet is closed…what should we do??!
If you have vet or vet tech experience, offer a 24-hour hotline to help with advice and tips based on individual situations.
You could also supplement this hotline with a YouTube channel designed to better inform pet owners (and market your business).
- Cooking Show Channel:
You don’t have to win a Food Network audition to have your own cooking show anymore. Transform your love of cooking into a YouTube channel. Like any channel, not only can you build up viewership on the YouTube platform, but then parlay that into an email list and social following, which can translate into sponsorships, cookbooks, affiliate income, and full-scale culinary courses! Check out Sprinkles For Breakfast where Lindsay did nearly all of these!
- Bottle and sell hot sauce or salsa:
Grandma’s famous salsa recipe isn’t doing anyone any good sitting in the cabinet. Find a regional bottler and get that stuff out on the market! Approach restaurants with free sample bottles to kickstart business. Talk with local grocery and specialty stores about setting up accounts, and don’t forget about the holiday gift basket season!
- Shoe Repair:
If you’re a pro at reconditioning leather or putting the soul back into a sole, start your own Shoe Repair business. You could offer to pick up and deliver shoes, then work from home to keep costs down. Find local directories to be listed in, as well as sites like NextDoor and Craigslist.
- Luggage Repair Service:
Suitcases and luggage get thrown around and start to fall apart over time, so learn how to re-zipper a case, remove baggage carousel stains and patch holes in the fabric. By doing so, you’ll make customers happy and suitcase manufacturers, well…not as happy.
- Logo Designer:
Every business needs a logo, and the key to standing out in this saturated field is niching down. Are you the “law firm logo” expert? Could you be known as “the only person to talk to if you own a pet store and need a logo”?
Become the only serious choice for professional, custom, affordable logos in a particular field, and you’ll have more business than you can handle!
- Boat Repair Service:
Boats get old. Barnacles grow on the hull, from what I understand. Like any heavily-weathered mode of transport, they need regular maintenance, tune-ups and repairs. If you know how to do that, then network with locals and shop owners. You could also consider a Facebook campaign that is targeted to boat owners and enthusiasts in your area. You could also be a sponsor for local boat shows to help get your name out there.
- LLC Service:
There are a ton of online services that allow anyone to fill out and file paperwork for an LLC (limited liability corporation) or other entity. But sometimes you just need a real person to sit down and help you. Become that helping hand for people who prefer good, old fashioned customer service. You could also cross sell other related services, like registering a web domain, building a simple website, getting print collateral like business cards made, and more.
- Domain Arbitrage:
This model has been around for a few decades now, and I question its ethicality in a lot of situations. But if you can find web domains (www.DOMAIN.com) that are in demand, you can sell it for a price higher than what you paid. Another sub-model is to find domains that are related to existing businesses, buy them, and offer to transfer the domains to businesses for a small finder’s fee, versus asking an exorbitant sales price.
- Local Coupon Book:
Everybody loves coupons; it’s a great way to market a business, and who doesn’t love saving money? So how could you bring coupon books into the modern era?
How about video coupon books! You could create a site that focuses on your local area, and approach businesses to offer a special discount deal. Then, you would offer to film a short video about their business and post it up next to the coupon.
The beauty of this model is that not only are you drawing attention to their business, but properly SEO-ed video adds “link juice” to a businesses website since Google owns YouTube. It could be a triple win for the business (and your wallet).
- Pool Cleaner:
Yes, it’s hard work. But homeowners are willing to pay for services that reduce their weekly workload. Like any other home service, consider offering monthly and yearly packages that include discounts for longer-term contracts and autobilling.
- Kid Lunch Prep Service:
It’s tough enough to get the kids out of bed and ready for school in the morning, and even though parents want their kids to eat healthy every day, school lunches are loaded with carbs, sugar and fat. Plus having to make a lunch at home adds one more “to-do” to the list.
Why not offer a service where make and deliver kids’ school lunches? You could buy sets of reusable containers and deliver lunches to Mom & Dad’s doorstep a few times per week. You could even offer multiple menu options and customize them to kids’ discerning taste buds. Better yet, partner with local farmers, bakers, etc. to be able to provide the freshest, local ingredients (something you should definitely include in your marketing)!
- Golf Instructor:
Golf is one of those hobbies that’s tough to teach virtually through Skype or Facetime…you have to be there to correct form, grip, etc. But you COULD create an online video course that covers the fundamentals. You could also offer in-person packages to help someone get started and get better.
- Self-Defense Instructor:
Opening your own Krav Maga or jiujitsu studio involves a ton of overhead. Why not hold self defense lessons for kids, men and/or women, etc. either in your own home or a local, inexpensive venue? You can build up a local following and help as many people as possible become proficient at building self-confidence and defending themselves.
- Mobile Tire Repair Service:
BAM! Blew a tire. Whether you show up to fix a flat on the go, or even in the driveway, a mobile tire repairperson can provide a valuable service for a good price and no pricey and long-term AAA contracts.
This is one of those situations where it pays to have your name close by and on hand, so give out promotional items that people might leave in their vehicles, such as air fresheners, phone chargers, stress balls, etc.
- Horse Carriage Driver:
My friend used to do this in downtown Austin during her evenings, and for awhile it was her main gig. Even as a Side Hustle, you can do quite well “carting” people on a romantic ride through the streets. In larger cities there are typically carriage companies already set up and operating, so do a Google search for “carriage company [your city name]” to see what opportunities already exist.
- Multi Bike Driver:
What a concept…you and 10 of your closest friends on a sideways bike trip through busy city streets where you’re drinking and stopping at local haunts for entertainment and hijinx. (Hijinks?) My best man arranged one of these for my bachelor party and it was the highlight of the evening! Hope you have some strong legs for those hills!
- Consultant For Saving Money Around The House:
Whether you’re a master coupon clipper, have access to below wholesale-priced paper towels, or know how to get the absolute best deals on living room rugs, your services would be welcome by homeowners around the country.
To get the word out, make a lot of noise via social media on ways to save money, and always lead people back to your site and into your lead funnel. Whether you’re trying to sell information or actually build a consulting business, a CRM and marketing automation platform are your friend. If price is an issue, start with MailChimp or ActiveCampaign.
My favorite platform is Kartra, which I use for my own business. MailChimp starts you on a free account and you pay as your business grows. Kartra plans start at $99/month. It’s an absolute all-in-one tool that allows you to build lead and sales pages, email broadcasts, membership sites, marketing funnels, as well as built-in analytics and help desks.
- Family Nutrition Consultant:
With a growing emphasis on longer, healthier living, parents are trying to instill good habits earlier in life. If you can help, they definitely want to hear from you. Consider platforms like NextDoor and local Facebook Groups to get the word out, and hold connect with local influencers to offer to hold small, free or low-cost seminars on healthier living for families. You can arrange to do this in neighborhood clubhouses or local YMCAs to keep costs down. Towards the end of the seminar, offer a light sales pitch on family consultation packages, along with a one-night only discount.
Security officers can work in all kinds of situations and price ranges, and can be a terrific side gig for police and military personnel, not to mention just plain tough gals and guys. Politicians, Diplomats, Celebrities, VIPs, Executives and more sometimes require additional security, so check out local security service companies to see what opportunities are available.
- Home Safety Consultant:
Most home owners don’t realize just how vulnerable they are to burglars and other types of violent crime. Start a Side Hustle that leverage research and statistics on how local invaders think and act, as well as pointing out weak points in homes, like inferior locks, windowsand deadbolts. Aside from just consulting, you can also offer to replace these elements with more effective models for reasonable prices. One other add-on could be running families through safety drills, like what to do if the alarm goes off, or how to react if an intruder is already in the house.
- Community Game Night Host:
Neighborhoods and communities enjoy finding ways to come together and celebrate, so why not create a Game Night-For-Hire service? You can invest in bingo machines, popcorn makers…even get giant Price Is Right-style wheels and game boards made. Fun for the whole family (literally)! You can offer a package price and/or per-attendee rates. If you’re focusing on particular geographic areas, look for neighborhood clubhouses and gathering spots that you can use or rent inexpensively that are close to (or ideally in) each neighborhood you’re working with.
- Trivia Event Host:
Trivia hosts are fun, engaging and know how to keep a crowd on their toes. If you can do all those things, look into being a trivia host for hire. If one bar, restaurant or local association has enough business for you, consider being exclusive to them and having the events also feature you as a personality. Otherwise, network with multiple venues and you might just have more business and bookings than you know what to do with!
- Form A Paid Co-Working Group:
With more people working remotely and for themselves, Co-Working has exploded over the last several years. But Co-Working spaces can be prohibitively expensive, especially if all people want is a way to connect with others. Form a group that meets once a week in a communal space. You can also bring in engaging speakers to help members build their businesses, have events catered by local restaurants and food trucks, and find other value-adds to justify a monthly membership fee.
- Create A Local Speakers Series:
Local vendors, educators and businesspeople are always looking for places to give educational talks. Why not create a low-cost speakers’ series at a comfortable venue where, for either a season ticket fee or a per-event charge, you bring in area experts on topics ranging from lead generation to family health to pre-retirement wealth building.
NOTE: Be careful with the sales pitches at the end, as if you’re charging for this, most people don’t to pay to be there AND be sold to at the same time. But, a light “for more info” is likely fine.
- Piano Arbitrage:
Not a day goes by that I don’t see a piano being given away for free (or cheap) on Facebook Marketplace. Pick them up and do some light refinishing, tuning, etc., then offer them out for rental at reasonable rates. The numbers will vary based on your area, but your audience might include families whose kids are taking piano lessons, local Realtors who need to stage a home, and others. Get creative in your marketing and you might be able to create a great new recurring income stream!
- Tile Installer:
Pro tile installers aren’t cheap, so put your name out there as a weekend warrior who does quality work at an affordable price. Network with landlords, Realtors, local community groups and blogs to build a buzz. And if you really want to take it to the next level, gather 5-star reviews in Yelp, Google Reviews, Angie’s List and other review sites.
- Mosaic Tile Installer/Artist:
Someone who can create a mosaic art piece out of tiles is a true artist, not just a run-of-the-mill tile installer. If you have that capability (or can learn it), you might be in demand to create your masterpieces for both home and commercial applications.
But, this is definitely a situation where you’ll need to get the proof in front of the right people. Realize that not everybody can pay thousands of dollars to decorate a pool deck or entry foyer. Go to the people who have money set aside to decorate their homes and whose taste extends beyond simple flat paint and carpet. If you don’t already have these connections, find ways to network with higher-end Realtors and decorators. Consider displaying at major home shows and other events where you can get your work in front of both homeowners and service providers who work with homeowners. You might also think aboutsome non-traditional customer bases, i.e. individuals in local government bodies who are in charge of decorating local office entries, etc. You’ll have to get creative on this one, but you might be surprised just how many types of clients are out there who would pay you big bucks to get a custom mosaic piece. And yes, get some high-quality photography done of your work whenever you can afford it.
- Home Mural Painter:
This Side Hustle will hold similar inputs and outputs as the mosaic-focused entry above, but with one importance difference. A Mural is less permanent and requires less hard installation than a Mosaic. Thus, it’s a lot easier to put one in a living room or child’s bedroom. Just like the previous entry, good networking will serve you well here.
- Chandelier/Light Installer:
Got a basic working knowledge of home electricity and a steady hand? Offer to hang up chandeliers in dining rooms and entryways. If you’re good at it, you can get several done per week or a big cluster of them finished over a weekend. Just be sure you’re not pricing yourself too high, as a licensed electrician would often be preferred over a weekend handyman.
- Install Aftermarket Backup Cameras:
Backup cameras are a relatively new invention, and there are thousands of older cars that would benefit from a well-installed camera. Learn how to hide wiring and make these newer cameras look almost like they were factory installed (or close, at least). Connect with classic car clubs around town to start the networking and marketing process.
- Install Ball Valves On Water Heaters:
In counties with hard water, installing a ball valve on a water heater gives better access to clean out calcium deposits. The materials aren’t pricey, but it does involve a fair amount of time, as well as a lot of “handy” action that not every homeowner wants to take. A licensed plumber will charge their hefty hourly rate, so why not offer this as an affordable, in-and-out service?
- Mobile Windshield Crack Repair:
The process of removing small windshield cracks is not that difficult to learn. Create a service where you travel to people’s homes to fix one or more cracks in windshields. Since cracks can be finicky, I’d suggest offering a lifetime guarantee for each fix. In cities where roads are bad and cracks are common, consider offering a monthly yearly mega package where you fix all cracks that show up. (Just price it right so that it’s worth your time to go to someone’s house frequently.)
- Aromatherapy Business:
Self care is a huge focus of personal wellness these days, and the options out there to introduce aromatherapy into your home can be mind-numbing (although, that’s kind of the point). Create home visits where you bring different diffusers, electric machines, various scents, etc. Your client can pick her/his favorites, and you can sign them up on a regular delivery schedule with options to try new scents each month. This will involve setting up your own wholesale relationships, but you just might love it!
- Meditation Audios:
Meditation audio clips are nothing new, and there’s no shortage of options out there. So, how can you create a series of digital audios (and/or videos) that help people focus, relax and unwind, but are different enough to set yourself apart? One option would be creating niche-specific sets. For example, professional athletes have different stressors than C-Level executives, who are different than stay-at-home dads, who are different than car salespeople. This can then be reflected in your sales copy — have it show that you understand the needs of that particular niche and have created a product to address those needs.
- Private Investigator:
Love puzzles or following disparate threads to their conclusions? This one might be for you. Private detectives are often involved in helping locate missing people, uncovering confidential information, and helping solve crimes. It’s recommended that you look into some schooling around the topic, but then you can go into either working for various agencies or actually work for yourself and build your own client base.
- DJ Lessons:
Whether EDM’s your thing or it’s old school B-Boys on the 1s and 2s, DJs play a huge role across multiple genres of music. If you know how to keep a dance floor packed and fists pumping, consider teaching others how to DJ. You can do this out of your home, a studio, or even the student’s home. Get enough students to have a recital, and I might just fly in for it! 🙂
- Freelance HR Consultant:
HR departments are often weighed down with the daily grind of processing applicants, running interviews and more. If you have HR experience, what services can you provide as an outside consultant or provider that can take work off of their shoulders while keeping costs down? LinkedIn will be one of your social platforms of choice, but also consider leveraging targeted ads that reach HR professionals, then lead them back to a lead capture page with a free lead magnet or white paper/case study, i.e. “How HR Professionals Can Reduce Their Weekly Workload By 25% Starting Today”.
- Horseback Riding Instructor:
Teach riding skills and more advanced techniques to neighborhood residents, or market to the entire town. You’ll definitely want to look into your liability and keeping it covered through an appropriate amount of insurance.
- Glasses Repair:
Set up shop at local fairs and weekend farmers markets to offer quick, easy and inexpensive glasses repairs. You’ll have built-in traffic, and if you make yourself known, you’ll be remembered the next time someone needs glasses fixed.
- Job Application Completer Service:
Corporate job applications are painfully long and tedious, and when applying for dozens of jobs during a search, seekers will inevitably have to fill out the same info on intake systems just different enough from one another that it’s hard to standardize an application.
Why not set up a service where you handle the repetitive busy work? Set up a single secure form where you ask for a resume and answers to multiple common job app questions, as well as links to all the desired job postings. You then process that information and fill everything out for them for a small convenience fee, either per job or as a package deal.
- Travel Deals Membership Site:
Build a membership service that aggregates travel deals from around the web into a daily or weekly email. You could offer a free trial that sends deals a few days behind when the paid members receive them, and then encourage people to level up.
Time Leverage Tip: Hire one or two virtual assistants to not only collect and input the travel deals, but always be searching out new ones.
- Date For An Evening:
Let’s face it…image can be important. Sometimes people need a pretty face on their arm for an important work function, a social gathering, or even a family reunion where Grandma will have another heart attack if she sees Junior’s still single. This is not a sexual transaction; rather, it’s a way to telegraph success and commitment for one night, even though you may not have found “the one”.
- Find People’s Long Lost Relatives:
There are more tools than ever to explore your heritage and history. However, it’s not always a quick and easy proposition. Create a “family discovery” service and be the one to do the digging. This will help clients learn about not only relatives with whom they’ve lost touch, but others they didn’t even know about. The prospect of creating stronger family connections and getting paid for it sounds like a rewarding, purposeful Side Hustle if I’ve ever heard one.
- Drive Elderly To Appointments:
Elderly and mobility-challenged people have challenges getting where they need to go, but often want to maintain their independence. Why not start a shuttle service where you pick up, drop off and help these folks get to the store, doctors’ appointments, and, if they’re so inclined, happy hour at the tequila factory. (Get down off the table, Grandpa!)
- DSLR Camera Repair/Resell:
When you’re ready to take your photos and videos a step up, DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras are often the way to go. But they can get damaged like any high-quality machine. With a set of good tools and steady hands, find these cameras inexpensively on online marketplaces and local platforms (Craigslist, etc.), fix and resell them. You can also offer this as a service to customers.
- Create Vacation Memory Books:
It’s one thing to share pictures with someone via a digital folder or iPhone stream. But a hardbound, glossy, professional-produced photo album that encapsulates the warm experiences and memories of a family vacation, class trip, etc. is something else.
Make the process a no-brainer by offering affordable packages based on number of pictures. Incorporate clients’ funny quotes and stories, as well as hash tags and “you had to be there” moments throughout the book. Shutterfly, iPhoto, Photobox, etc. all offer these upload-and-print services, but find ones that go above and beyond in terms of quality.
- Knife Forging:
I just visited a knife show in Houston where local artisans (and fans of the show “Forged In Fire”) were displaying their best blades for purchase and competition. This is definitely a practiced skill, so plan on investing extensive time, effort and money to become proficient. However, a well-crafted knife can fetch into the $1000s depending on the metals and adornments incorporated into the build.
- Knife Sharpening:
A sharp knife can actually result in fewer injuries than a dull one, not to mention fewer curse words when trying to slice through a raw sweet potato. If you’re starting at zero, there are dozens of great YouTube tutorials to help you choose the right equipment and develop your technique. When you get up to speed, offer your services to a local speciality knife or kitchen shop, or even rent a booth at the weekly Farmer’s Market. I even knew a guy who sharpened out of his living room. That kind of sounds like the set up to one of the Saw films, though.
- Candle Making:
Quality candles can fetch up to $15 each…especially with the right housings and scents. If you really want to go the extra mile, put time into sourcing unique materials, like recycled driftwood (fireproofed, of course) or ocean glass. Also pay attention to the wax you incorporate, as non-traditional waxes (soy, for example) are considered less toxic when burned.
The real secret to candle sales is painting an experience through smells, sights and even sounds. Build on a sensory theme, and perpetuate that through both the candle itself as well as your corresponding marketing.
- Lightswitch Plate Cover Creation:
Buy a kiln and learn to do this from your basement. Not only can you sell them online, i.e. Etsy, etc., but local/regional craft shows are great ways to meet other crafters and make sales.
- Corporate CPR Trainer:
If you’re a fan of The Office, you’ll remember a woman named Rose who they hired after Stanley’s heart attack to come in and teach everyone how to do CPR. That could be you! Well, maybe more responsibly, and without anyone cutting the face off of a plastic CPR dummy to imitate Hannibal Lecter.
- Daily Happiness Coach:
Staying positive and enthusiastic is not always the easiest thing in the world. Why not start a business where you make occasional phone calls, send text messages, relate positive anecdotes, etc. to help your clients stay focused on the good? Your marketing could even reference statistic on how positive thinking and energy leads to greater productivity, wealth and, well…happiness!
- Small Appliance Reconditioning:
When microwaves, game systems, mini-fridges and other small appliances break, often people would rather sell them than go through the trouble of fixing them. If you’re good at diagnosing problems and making repairs, consider going into this Side Hustle. All you have to do is look for these kinds of products on Facebook Marketplace, and local FB groups, Craigslist, or even ask around on neighborhood bulletin boards. Then spruce them up and resell! This also works if you find the machines and pay someone to do the fixes for you, but make sure you know what it will cost BEFORE you buy and have factored that into your profit margin.
- LP Record Album Sales/Arbitrage:
LPs are seeing a resurgence in our society. Whether it’s nostalgia, decoration, or just an appreciation for the classics, people are spending good money to pick up old records. Find LPs at local garage sales and estate sales, and then resell on eBay or even Amazon. Of course, not every album is going to fetch a big payday, so be sure to do your research before making major investments.
- Wood Floor Installation:
Just like tile floor installation, become a reliable wood floor installer and you can pick up a job or two on the weekends for some extra bucks. If you really want to up your game, learn how to do cool custom patterns, designs and inlays that set you apart from the pack.
- Sell Local Commemorative Items:
I have a commemorative brick sitting on display in my office. It was repurposed from Beale Street in Memphis (the actual street) when they redid it, and each brick was labeled with a small plaque that proudly displayed its origin and history.
Colloquial memorabilia is available all over cities and towns, ranging from stadium seats to old church stained glass to doorknobs, signs…you name it. Get the story behind those items to give them history and life. Then, either sell to local antique shops and vendors, or else online through eBay or even your own website.
- Corporate/Office Raffle Organizer:
Create a raffle company where you get local businesses to contribute gift certificates and merchandise in exchange for publicity, and then offer the raffle to local offices.
It would look like this: Get 10 local bars, restaurants and goods producers to each contribute one gift certificate or piece of merchandise per raffle, as well as separate coupons. Then approach 100 area office buildings each with office staff totals of 10 or more. The office agrees to participate, and either buys tickets for each of its employees, and the employees can buy additional tickets (this is where you make your money). At the end of the contest period, you inform the winners of their prizes, and provide the additional the coupons and info from the bars, restaurants, etc. who contributed them.
Put your own spin on it and find ways to make it fun. However, be sure to check local and state gaming laws, as this could ride a little close to gambling.
Parties, carnivals, parades, store openings…there are tons of opportunities to cash in and have fun if you’re willing to cake on the makeup and flop around in giant shoes. If you enjoy a lot of silly attention and are willing to learn how to juggle and make balloon animals, this could be for you.
- Paint Street Numbers On Curbs:
My dad did this as a kid and apparently cleaned up. Find out neighborhood color and paint regulations through local HOAs (Homeowner Associations), and then offer to paint house numbers for either a flat fee or donation.
- Mobile Document Shredding Service:
Although shredders have come down in price, it’s still a hassle when getting rid of large piles of shredding at a time. Offer a mobile shredding service where you drive around a pick up piles of shredding, then either shred them yourself or take them to a local shredding service. This is one of those endeavors where trust is absolutely imperative, as you’re dealing very sensitive information. How can telegraph that you’re going to do what you say you’re going to do and your customers have nothing to worry about?
- Book Illustrator:
Love to draw, but not sure how to monetize that love? Connect with authors across the country through Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter, and other social platforms. You can also check out audiobooks on Amazon, but odds are if an author has an audiobook, they might already have an illustrated book. Doesn’t hurt to find out. Regardless, put your work and intentions in front of the right people, and eventually this will turn into a paid Side Hustle.
- Explainer Video Animator:
Explainer videos are those animated cartoon videos that help describe a product or service. You see them either on company websites and/or video ads. You can either animate these by hand, or use online programs like Adobe Spark, PowToon and Animatron. Connect with voiceover talents and script writers to join forces and get more collective business!
- Monthly Box Subscription Service:
A subscription box takes a lot of ongoing planning and effort to pull off efficiently. But with tenacity and an ample starting budget, many people have turned these small boxes into big profits. For successful examples, look at TrunkClub, BirchBox, Frank and Oak, Try The World, and tons of others. If you’re just getting started, check out Subbly.co or CrateJoy for information and all-in-one logistical resources to get you off the ground.
- Hearing Impaired Interpretter:
Proficient in sign language? You can find work signing for meetings, events, speeches, and even rock concerts! This is one where you’ll mostly go through traditional job channels, such as Indeed.com and other job aggregators.
- Recycle Cans/Bottles:
If you live in a city (or can easily get to one) where they pay for can and/or bottle recycling, this could prove to be a lucrative, albeit sticky Side Hustle. You’re not likely to get rich off of this one, as I’ve seen estimates that each can is only worth 1-2 cents.
However, let’s say you can convince larger organizations, such as schools, businesses, local school sports teams, etc., to recycle cans in the bins you provide. In return, you promise to return a percentage of your profits to their organization or a charity of their choice. You’re incentivizing these organizations to provide your product at little cost to you!
On this one, do everything you can to leverage time and energy, and you have a shot at making some good scratch.
- Video Game Cabinet Sales/Setup/Delivery:
With more people building game and media rooms into their homes, full-size arcade games are seeing a resurgence. But, they’re big and cumbersome. Why not rent warehouse space and stockpile these machines. Then after cleaning them up, you can market them around your city, and offer a pickup and delivery service. You could even connect with local interior decorators and remodeling services as a 3rd-party contractor for game room builds.
- Build Poker/Gaming Tables:
A custom-built poker/gaming table has the class and artisanship that helps round out a swanky man cave or game room. Get color specs from customers to match house color palettes and create the table of their dreams. Again, connect with home remodelers and decorators for an easy stream of new customers.
- Host Game Nights:
Create area game nights around your city, each with a low cover charge or entry fee. You could host bingo, trivia, bracketed card games or dart competitions and more. Get sponsors involved for enticing free giveaways, which you could include in your marketing. Use a CRM and email system to keep people updated on when “Game Night” is coming to their area, and give discounted entry for those who sign up for 3, 6 or 12 month packages.
- Portrait Artist:
Put your love of painting or photography to profitable use by offering individual or family portraits. This is a long-standing tradition for homes, so offer to paint in different styles; formal and distinguished, casual and relaxed, or even something fun, like outdoors or even silly poses to capture a family spirit.
- Repurpose/Sell Precious Metals:
“Cash for gold” is a phrase I’ve heard hundreds of times over the last few years. The industry has taken off, so if you can find legit sources of gold, silver, platinum and other metals, you have dozens and dozens of buyers willing to compete for you. Find the best deal, and build relationships to know you’re working with reliable sources who give you the highest price.
- Photobooth Rentals:
People LOVE taking pictures together, and photobooths served as the original selfie machine. Work parties, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Sweet 16 parties, Halloween gatherings, New Years events…the possibilities go on and on. Be sure to provide plenty of props, funny hats and glasses, etc. to keep people entertained!
- Headshot Photography:
Whether going after a career in acting/music, launching a coaching career, or just needing good shots for a LinkedIn profile, people will always need quality headshots. No studio space? No problem! Find unique, well-decorated local bars, restaurants or outdoor areas that can serve as a warm backdrop or texture to give your subject’s picture a different tone and feel. You might even consider a high-end hotel lobby or museum as a shooting location…just make sure you get permission first.
- Custom Cupcake Booth Operator:
My wife and I had a custom cupcake booth at our wedding in lieu of a traditional cake, and it was a huge hit. Guests can choose a base cake flavor, then build on it with different frostings and toppings. Consider partnering with a nationwide franchise, or start your own!
- Recondition/Sell Turntables (Record Players):
Classic turntables, especially units build into stylish cabinets and other antique furniture, still fetch handsome prices around the country. Find old units that could use refinishing, spruce them up and get the mechanical parts working, then resell through antique sites and stores. This may take some research on your part to see what will sell where and for how much, but those opportunities are absolutely out there.
- Custom Fragrance Line:
Ever wanted your own custom fragrance line? Although it ain’t cheap (sometimes going as high as an $8K-$10K initial investment for set up and testing fees), you have a range of options and pricing for launching your own cologne or perfume.
There’s the custom fragrance “composition” route, which can be the pricier way to go, but you get to custom formulate what you want.
A less expensive, less custom way to go is to private label a fragrance, where you create a brand around an existing cologne or perfume formulation. Either way, this can be a great accompaniment to a designer clothing or furniture line; even an impressive thank you gift for a luxury home build.
- Test Proctor:
Administer tests to students and ensure compliance and classroom order by becoming a part-time proctor. This is one where you will most likely need some type of degree (often bachelor’s level), but it’s not a highly-specialized position and a good way to earn some extra pocket money.
- Fish Tank Maintenance:
Almost every kid gets a fish tank when she’s growing up. And almost no kids clean them on a regular basis. Offer a weekly fish-tank cleaning service for when Mom and Dad just can’t take it anymore. You can visit the home, clean the tank, and be on your way!
- Corporate Event Bagpiper:
Okay…this is one of our more unique Side Hustles on the list. But corporate event producers are often looking for interesting a unique ways to introducing speakers, kick off events, etc. If you can rock the pipes, whack on your kilt, tuck your Sgian-dubh into your sock, and get started.
As far as marketing, YouTube videos and a lot of networking will be key. Your services may not be in high demand, but if you can get the word out there and show that you’re able to grab and keep attention (not hard to do with bagpipes), meeting organizers will be interested.
- Stock Tips Service:
If you can produce reliable stock picks on a consistent basis, why keep it to yourself? Build a client base via email or even videos (a la Jim Cramer, minus the erratic camera angles) where you give your best daily or weekly plays for a monthly membership fee. You can do this with a simple email list and sales page, or build a more robust site with training courses, etc. for additional income.
- Mobile Eyebrow Trimming Service:
The Fleek Fleet? Offer to sculpt bushy brows at home with a mobile eyebrow service. It has to be worth your while, so maybe start in your own neighborhood and see what client base you can build. Before/after pictures are key here, so ask every client if you can photograph your work and post pix on social + your website.
- Wedding First Dance Tutor:
That first dance is one they’ll always remember, so help get it perfect by schooling couples on their slow dance skills. Connect with wedding coordinators, florists, caterers and other wedding day vendors to build word-of-mouth, and be sure to take video of both your instructions and the progress that couples make over the course of your instructional sessions. More than anything you want to show the feelings that experience as a result, ranging from utter joy and fun, to a sense of relief and even pride that they were able to pull off a stunning first dance (with your help)!
- Build Money Making Apps:
It’s one thing to build an app…these days even a monkey can do that. To build an app that generates cold hard cash is another story. Whether you’re creating games that generate in-app purchases, a subscription-based model for a monthly fee, etc., think about how to solve people’s problems, generate business, or provide entertainment through your app. And stickiness counts here…how can you keep users hooked for hours on end? Finally, remember that just because you generate revenue doesn’t mean you’ll be rolling in net profit. Perform extensive calculations on projected costs and profit before you jump in.
- Become A Scholarly Speaker:
If you know the Gettysberg Address by heart and have “One small step for man…” tattooed on your arm, you might consider becoming a historical, scholarly speaker. Whether performing at elementary schools or local civic events, there probably aren’t a whole lot of people who can pull off a bang-on Thomas Jefferson impression as well as you.
- SEO Expert Consultant:
Search engine optimization is a moving target; it’s always changing and morphing to best serve what Google and other search engine users want. To that end, if you can not only stay on top of SEO changes, and advise clients on what to do and/or do the work for them, your agency can rake in thousands of dollars per month. It requires quite a bit of dedication and marketing efforts, but there’s a mammoth market for quality SEO experts out there.
- YouTube Video Ad Creator:
A lot of PPC experts out there have said that YouTube’s ad platform is far less saturated than other options like Facebook or Google’s primary ad network, since creating videos requires more time, and effort, plus the cajones to get in front of a camera over and over. There are some great courses on Udemy to learn how to best exploit this platform for leads, so set yourself apart from the ad-buying herd by learning how to do YouTube ads.
- Create And Sell Custom Coasters:
You can have drink coasters made out of almost any material these days; metal, wood, acetate, etc., and featuring nearly any image or design. This means you can incorporate business or sports team logos, as well as custom messages. Create a coaster service for organizations that’s customized in their logo, colors and any messages or other imagery they’d like to include. They can be given as gifts or sold, all while you enjoy the profit.
- Tech Support Helpline:
We’ve all been there; something’s not working with your phone, computer or other device, and you just need a simple fix. However, the company’s chat bot only provides third grade-level responses, and the phone support is either indecipherable or it takes hours just to navigate the auto-response robots to get to a real person. Develop a pay-per-call service where patient and friendly specialists know products inside and out and can solve problems faster than even the company’s support line. Even better, offer video chat where a user doesn’t have to bother describing the problem; she/he just has to hold up the device to show what’s wrong.
- Package Redelivery (Avoiding Porch Pirates):
Porch Pirates, or people who steal packages off of your doorstep, are beyond a nuisance. Create a local service where customers have their packages delivered to you at any time in the day, and then you coordinate with them to then re-deliver it when they’re home and available to receive them.
- Coupon Aggregator:
This idea is for a email service or website where coupons from across the Internet are collected and offered in one place, updated daily or even hourly. There are also tons of ways to monetize this one; offer the service for free, collect emails, and then send out curated affiliate offers to make a commission every time someone buys that product. You could also sell advertising on each piece of communication, not to mention courses on how to save money on travel, home purchases and more.
- Restaurant Equipment Reseller:
Restaurants close or upgrade their equipment all the time, which leaves you opportunities to buy, clean, fix and resell those pieces for profit. Connect with restaurants around town and introduce yourself, offering to consider buying their gear when they no longer need it. BTW, it probably wouldn’t hurt to build relationships with local fix-it-people in case that industrial fridge you just picked up needs a new compressor and you don’t know how to replace it.
- Gift Assistant (To Help You Find The Right Gift, In Person Or Virtual):
Gift giving can be tricky, and sometimes we all need an outside opinion to get it right. Offer a service where you look over photos and get stories of someone’s tastes and activities, create a list of potential gifts, and then even accompany the client on a shopping trip to select the perfect present. You can charge a flat fee, work hourly or even accept a percentage of the purchase price.
- Field Rep For Local Food/Bev Demos:
Local food producers pick up customers in stores by giving away free samples while talking up the features and benefits of their products. Since these folks can’t always be in the store, they hire field reps to do the talking for them. Google “field rep” and “food service rep” to start finding those companies around you.
- Clean Houses:
Good, old-fashioned maid services. There will always be people who need help keeping their houses clean, and you can make a good Side Living that way. Find ways to go above and beyond to ensure you get rehired. You can do this on your own, or you can work for a local/national company to make it a little easier to find work.
- Lift/Move Heavy Stuff:
There are several ways to make money in the moving business. You can work for local companies and move the contents of apartments or houses either across town or to a different city. You can also move individual items for people, like furniture, pianos or other bulky, heavy things. For the latter, check out companies like GoShare, where you can move, haul and deliver items for people around town.
- Become A Field Agent:
Field Agent is a platform where you can sign up to essentially “notice things” at stores. This is a modern take on being a secret shopper. They call it “on-demand data collection and marketing services”. The pay can vary, but it’s another method to get paid to shop!
- Local Store Display Checkups:
EasyShift is another pay-per-job app where you are compensated to take an action. In this case, they pay you to check on retail store displays and promotions, like giant cardboard Tostitos scenes or a Christmas Coca-Cola display. Jobs tend to pay between $2-$20 each, and you get paid via PayPal.
- Appointment Setter:
Want to work in sales but not do any selling? Nowadays, one of the layers in the sales process in an appointment setter; someone who asks some basic qualifying questions to a prospect, and if the answers fit the right criteria, the AS sets an appointment on the salesperson’s calendar. Not a bad gig, although earning potential is often capped compared to an eat-what-you-kill commission structure.
- Teach WordPress/Web Design Classes:
If you build websites, create an additional revenue stream by teaching small business owners how to build their own site, in WordPress or otherwise. You can do this through in-person classes or virtual events. I did this several years ago; a live WordPress class for about 15 local business owners. I got a great price on conference space at a local hotel, and recruited students through networking groups around Austin.
- Hotel Concierge:
Are you plugged into local businesses and events? Are you able to help a wayward traveler locate an unusual outfit for a family function in an hour or less? Can you lift your arm and point to the hotel bar? You might have a future as a hotel concierge. These know-it-alls have their ear to the city’s ground and assist hotel guests in finding assorted destinations, whether that’s attractions, restaurants, shopping or sometimes unusual wants and needs. Inquire at local hotels.
- Rockstar Bookkeeper:
I knew a woman who was a bookkeeper for local bands and artists. She wasn’t a CPA, but had an office and when tax season hit, she helped musicians navigate the complicated world of tax law for independent contractors, especially when much of it happens without a paper trail.
- Classroom Or Library Monitor:
Although this can be a full-time job and you often need a postsecondary certificate or an associate’s degree, library monitors help patrons get information, use computers and find what they need in the library. Not a bad gig if you appreciate peace, quiet and the musty smell of old classics.
- Newspaper Delivery:
It’s an oldie-but-goodie, but delivering newspapers in local neighborhoods still happens, and you can still make money doing so. Great for early risers.
- Review Phone Calls
With all of the automation built into modern industry, there are still things that humans are best suited for. (Sorry, robots.) Humanatic employs people to review phone companies’ incoming/outgoing calls, and then answer simple questions about them to create aggregated data reports about the calls and company. If it sounds complicated, it’s not. It also doesn’t pay a ton, but it’s a pretty easy way to clear some cash.
- Annotate Images: This is the first of three entries that involve different jobs, all through the same company: Spare5. With this one, you’re getting paid to draw boxes around certain elements in an image, then describe what’s there in the box. This action, as well as the following two, are helping you create and refine algorithms for Spare5’s clients.
- Provide Keywords (Spare5):
With this gig, you’re identifying appropriate keywords that could go along with a picture, the way you would on Instagram, for instance.
- Isolate Elements (Spare5):
Help computers map out edges of elements within images, again to help build the algorithm and its capabilities. Great way to earn a few bucks in your spare time!
- Facilitate Business Connections:
You’re a networking expert…so why not make a few bucks in the process? Set up a business where you create connections and potentially even broker deals for people who are building their own businesses. This is tricky as you need to be doing more than just asking for money to introduce your friends to one another, so figure out where you can add real value, like helping with due diligence or creating contracts.
- Become A Gourmet Chocolatier:
Make and sell handmade chocolates through local gourmet markets and stores, online or even one-on-one in your spare time. It’s funny how word of mouth can spread quickly when chocolate is involved.
- Start An Unboxing Channel:
The “unboxing” phenomenon is huge. Essentially, it’s a video-recorded first look at new products with the unboxer narrating what they’re seeing, how it feels, looks and even compares to previous or competing versions. To see this in action, pick a product and search for the unboxing of it on YouTube, like “iPhone 10 unboxing”. Look through examples and pay attention to the details of videos that have really high view counts. They’re obviously doing something right.
- Mobile Device Review Channel:
Going a step further, there are folks out there who make a good living reviewing new tech products, either on YouTube, blogs, review sites, or even eCommerce sites. Get enough followers and you can even convince companies to send you products to review for free. Monetization strategies depend on the channel, but YouTube shares revenue when you hit their viewership requirements. As of the publication of this post, that includes having at least 1K subscribers and at least 4K hours of watch time within the past 12 months.
- Mobile/Holiday Gift Wrapping Service:
Take the hassle out of wrapping gifts around the holidays with a “present prep” service. Offer customers a variety of gift wrap and accessory options, such as bows, cards, etc., and even provide a pickup and delivery service. If you really want to level up and you have the orders to support it, hire people to wrap and pick up/drop off for you. All you have to do is supervise the activity and make sure everything’s getting done.
- Backyard Putting Green Installation:
You’d be surprised how many people have putting greens installed into their backyards (my father-in-law is one of them). A little foundation, astroturf and some decorative landscaping, and you have one fine-looking yard…one where the homeowner PAYS to have holes in it! Look on YouTube to get some ideas and instructions on building a quality backyard putting green.
- Amazon Wholesaling:
This and the next entry could be categories unto themselves. Wholesaling on Amazon is like creating any retail business, except most of the effort goes into building relationships and deals with suppliers. I personally haven’t spent much time with this one, but I’ve been told of some massive success stories with people who have put the time in, stayed patient and diligent, and made smart deals with the right suppliers in the right markets. Be careful, but be ambitious.
- Amazon Private Label:
Another one where it pays to stay tenacious AND be careful. Starting a private label on Amazon means creating a new brand out of a product that’s already being produced, often overseas.
To start, you often do product category research, find something that’s working, contract with a company to tweak it to your liking and then produce the product for you. At that point, it’s shipped to your country and usually sent straight to Amazon who then fulfills orders for the product.
Expect to pay anywhere from $2,000-$10,000 or more to get started with your own product line…however top success stories in this one include revenue into the $100,000s (or higher).
A great tool for exploring existing products to model your private label after is Viral Launch — it crunches a ton of data and shortcuts hours of research.
One more tip: leverage time and the best talent to get the best results here, as these can be choppy and confusing waters. Check out my interview with Francois Jaffres of Noviland, a company that facilitates purchasing from over 3,000 Asian manufacturers. And even though it seems like you’re spending more to get the help of a company like Novliand, when you factor in things like 3rd party inspection companies, freight forwarding directly to Amazon FBA, negotiating pricing, etc. that they do for you, your delivered pricing is just about the same compared to if you were doing it all yourself.
- Podcast Creation/Facilitation Service:
Ever started a podcast? It’s neither fast nor easy. You not only have to buy and set up audio/video equipment, but record the podcast, edit it, and then upload each episode to various channels…each of which takes a lot of time to dial in as well. Offer a service where you help set up podcasts and their distribution, and then edit episodes and create marketing collateral, such as video Instagram posts, Facebook previews, and more attention-grabbing materials. Creators will LOVE you for this, and you can charge package prices that correspond with episode count and level of promotion.
- Neighborhood Home Bakery/Delivery:
There’s something about a home baker that’s charming, endearing and delicious. If you have a killer sourdough starter and some time on your hands, consider starting a neighborhood baked goods delivery service. You can take orders via phone, email or even through an online app like Shopify, then get baking! Be careful however, as local health departments have certain regulations about selling home-prepared food versus using a commercial kitchen (which you can often rent by the hour or day, by the way).
- Mobile Jewelry Cleaning:
You can buy an Ultrasonic jewelry cleaning device on Amazon to get rid of dirt and grime on your rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. Create a service where you pick up, clean and deliver jewelry. Just make sure you practice A LOT before doing anything to people’s valuable possessions.
- Handmade Costume Service:
If you’re quick with a sewing machine, create custom costumes for kids’ birthdays, school plays, and holidays. This is a tough one to price right, so take into account your time and materials, not to mention what it would cost someone to simply buy a similar costume at the store or online.
- Cat Litter Change/Removal Service:
Remove one stinky daily chore from cat owners’ lives by providing a daily cat litter changing service. Show up, empty the litter box each day, and offer additional services like a bi-weekly litter change and pan cleaning.
- Home Babyproofing Service:
Babyproofing a home is no small task. Create a service where you not only take care of making things like drawers and cabinets babyproof, but where you point out less obvious dangers, such as furniture that could tip over. The more you do it, the more you’ll be able to find subtle spots that require attention (and more work for you!).
- Local Food Festival Organizer:
A Food Festival celebrates the cuisine of a particular culture, style or heritage. Here in Houston, we have festivals that focus on food from Turkey, Kenya, New Orleans, the Mediterranean, vegan/vegetarian, barbecue, beer, wine, cheese and everything in-between. Put together your own local festival that highlights a type or variety of food, and get vendors and participants involved. It’s not a simple endeavor, but it can be extremely fulfilling and fun…and delicious.
- Testimonial Gathering Service:
Testimonials and reviews have become the lifeblood of businesses these days, but sometimes companies and restaurants don’t know how quite to ask their customers and clients for them. Build a service that solicits customers for reviews in various formats — typed, audio and/or video, as well as facilitates the posting of them on websites, social platforms, brochures and more. You’ll have to dial in the right way to ask, as it can be a touchy subject. But when you can do this effectively, make it a big part of your marketing that your strength is not only making the ask, but getting the review AND keeping them as satisfied customers.
- Home Lighting Specialist/installer:
Lighting options have flourished in the last few years, and there are now hundreds of ways to create functional, beautiful lighting scenes in homes. Become a home lighting specialist and help homeowners highlight rooms and areas in ways they hadn’t thought of. High-quality pictures and videos are essential here, so don’t skimp on the photography.
- Reminder Service:
Not everyone keeps an active to-do list, and even with them, important dates and events can fall through the cracks. Start a service where you contact people ahead of time and/or on the dates of important events, like birthdays, anniversaries, etc. This can be through phone calls, SMS, social platform messages, etc., so your clients never forget an important date. Just think…you might be able to save multiple marriages this way!
Another take on it is to be the reminder service for notable tasks that need to be performed, like renewing a car registration or pay the HOA fees. You can set it up so that you call and call until the client tells you they’ve achieved the objective, thereby ensuring she/he gets it done.
- Shopify Store:
E-commerce was forever changed when Shopify came around. The company made it simple to create and promote an online store for almost any kind of product or industry. They also have extensive e-comm training available through their blog and YouTube videos. Ever wanted to sell through the Internet? This is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to do so. Check out my interview with Julie Starr, a Shopify expert, to learn more.
- Movie/TV Extra:
If you live in a city where movies and TV shows are frequently shot, consider becoming an extra. It might not be steady work, but it’s still some extra cash coming in, not to mention bragging rights, i.e. “Look, that’s me — that blurry speck in the background!”
Start by contacting multiple casting agencies, i.e. Central Casting. Go through the process of filling out paperwork, etc., and check in every now and then to see if they have anything coming up.
- Street Musician/Busking:
On the right busy street, good street musicians can come home with a caseful of dollars and coins. Plus, it’s more time to practice and refine your songs while becoming more comfortable in front of different types of audiences. One important facet of this experience is learning how to deal with rejection, as you’ll have to keep playing despite hundreds of passersby ignoring you for hours at a time. Believe it or not, that strength will ultimately help you make more money as a musician.
Put on your comfy shoes, because you won’t be standing still for long as a valet. Do this in the right city, e.g. a high-roller casino in Vegas, and you may never go to college because the tips are too good. Plus you get to drive some really cool cars.
- Patio Decorator/Remodeler:
A great patio is more than a table and chairs. It’s an extension of the function, comfort and beauty of the living areas within a house. The challenge is to keep it all functional and beautiful while exposed to the elements. Learn to build exceptional patios, complete with furniture, gathering spaces and activity centers. For examples and inspiration, check out Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Pinterest, HGTV, etc. And be sure to collect customer reviews and ratings on sites like Yelp and Google, not to mention claiming and leveraging your own business listings on each of them.
- Email Marketer:
Email marketing is a science and an art. You have to be a dynamite copywriter, as well as measure and interpret analytics like total send, open and click rates, leads generated, etc. These are all learned skills and there’s no shortage of education faucets from which to drink.
- Guitar/Drum Tech:
If you know gear, as well as how to get the best sound in a live setting, consider going on tour as a drum, bass or guitar tech. Not only do you get paid to travel around and have fun, but it’s good networking with (hopefully) great musicians. Plus, you might be next in line if the musician for whom you’re working happens to, say…lights themselves on fire and can’t play. And yes, James’ guitar tech filled in for him on guitar while his arm skin grew back in. (Eww.)
- Website Migration Service:
I’ve paid freelancers good money to transfer a website from one server or hosting company to another. Yes, there are plugins and automations to do this. But if you want it done correctly so that everything works the way it did before the transfer, it makes sense to hire somebody. If you know your way around PHP, file/folder structure and the bowels of a hosting account, this could be a great one for you.
- Influencer/Brand Connection Service:
Product brands pay a great deal of money to have online influencers (i.e. bloggers, YouTubers, etc.) mention their wares. Build a network of influencers who have the reach and influence necessary to command attention, and create ways to connect them with brands and products. This will take quite a bit of clout and coordination, but could net you some impressive commissions in the process. Get your negotiating hat on, because you’ll want to advocate for your influencers as much as possible while getting the brands the exposure they desire.
- Conference Note Taker:
Between keynotes and breakouts, conferences can be fantastic ways to learn new information in a particular field. However, not everyone has the time nor budget to attend, and the organizers don’t always release recordings of the event. Recently I’ve seen some savvy conference attendees take notes at conferences, and then sell them in batches online for a reasonable price. This includes notes from previous conferences, as well. Watch licensing and copyright issues, as this is NOT your material. But done correctly, with permission, this can be a great way to help for your conference ticket.
- Restaurant Merchandiser:
Restaurants need a lot of stuff. Menus, signage, business cards, table tents, souvenir shirts and mugs, and more. If you can build a cohesive visual brand and can source product at affordable prices, consider becoming a restaurant merchandiser. Now, you probably won’t be doing the t-shirt wall at Applebee’s (if there is such a thing) as they hire major agencies to take care of that. However, local joints and small chains are fair game, and often need the help.
- Gig Arbitrage:
With the Gig Economy in full swing, some creative individuals have started engaging in gig arbitrage. This basically means they find a client who needs something done, like a website. Then they hire a website designer to build it, and then charge the client what they paid the designer, along with a healthy markup. This isn’t necessarily a new invention, but it does have a new title.
All I’ll say is this: if you’re going to do this, be fair to your freelancers. If you’re hiring someone in the Philippines and negotiating them down from $100 to $50 for a service, don’t go charging your client $5,000 for that same service. Good gig karma is a real thing, and your freelancers are real people with real needs. Let them set their own rates, and be liberal with bonuses when they deliver quality results…especially if you’re profitting from their work.
- Spot-Specific Tourist Photography:
Get a quality DSLR camera, scope out the best angles, and offer passing tourists a better photo than they could get taking a selfie with their phone. Then, provide it to them via digital download, email or a USB thumbdrive. If you do 50 of these in a day (big tourist spot) at $15 each, that’s $750 per day! Be sure you have quality, framed samples of your work on display so that customers can see why it’s worth paying you.
- Real Estate Hard Money Lender:
Hard money, simply put, is a short-term loan on a soon-to-be-flipped real estate property and, if desired, the proposed cost of repairs. The difference between hard money and a conventional loan are 1) the length of the loan — usually only a few months to a year, and 2) a significantly higher percentage rate, ranging from 10-20%, depending on several factors. If you have (or can get) capital to loan out, this can be a pretty good way to make a return on your money while actually being able to watch it go to good use.
- Instagram/Pinterest Business (Affiliate):
If you can build a following on these two platforms, you can monetize your efforts by promoting products in exchange for affiliate commissions. If you’re not familiar with affiliate marketing, you’re essentially earning a referral each time someone in your audience buys a product or pays for a service you mention. There are entire industries and conferences dedicated to affiliate marketing, and many different directions you can take it.
- Independent Book/Audiobook Facilitator:
If you’re a business person and simply want to put a book out there for marketing person, it can be a tedious endeavor. Become the gal/guy who takes care of everything, from getting designs made, to sourcing narrators for the audiobook, to submitting everything to Kindle and Audible (and other platforms, of course), not to mention marketing and promotion. You have to be a book jack-of-all-trades, but once you get the process down, it can actually be fun.
- Record/Catalog Grandparents’ Stories:
Set up a small, comfortable studio (or portable one) where you invite people, accompanied by family if they wish, to record a digital memoir. Then capture the audio and/or video and provide it back to them in whichever format/s they choose — digital video uploaded to the cloud, thumb drive, Blu-Ray, etc. There are a variety of ways to do this, and it may take some trial and error to figure out what makes your subjects most comfortable (i.e. your studio vs. their living room, you asking questions vs. their family leading the conversation, etc.), but in the end you’re providing a valuable service for which you can charge a healthy premium, especially if you create a lasting and beautiful product.
- Domain Negotiator:
If you know your way around a negotiating table and can do some digital sleuthing to track down domain owners, you could have a Side Hustle as a Domain Negotiator. Like any property, the value of a domain is subjective; it’s somewhere between between what a buyer wants to pay and the amount for which the seller wants to sell. Learn to do these deals well and there could be some fat commissions in your future.
- Massage Chair Sales & Delivery:
Last year, I sat in a $5,000 reclining massage chair at a furniture store. It was heaven. I then went on eBay and found a similar chair for LITERALLY a tenth of that price. However after having it shipped to my house, I had to carry the 100 lb chair upstairs in two very cumbersome pieces and spend the afternoon deciphering their confusing directions, connecting different colored wires to each other, and hoping/praying it was going to work.
Start a massage chair sales and delivery service, where you order these chairs one-at-a-time or wholesale, and then deliver and set them up for customers. And if you have a time machine, I’ll pay you to do this for me a year ago.
There’s almost no better taste than fresh, home-harvested honey. If you aren’t afraid of a little sting every once in awhile, learn the art of beekeeping. Then, bottle and sell the honey at local farmer’s markets and high-end grocery stores. Yum!
- Car Transporter:
When you make a deal with a car dealership for a vehicle at another dealership in another city or state, they have to hire a transporter to put that car on those big platforms and haul it back to them. I learned recently that hauling contractors are able to select these contracts, one at a time. If you don’t mind some long-distance driving and some quality alone time, this could be a good one for you.
- Hold Health-Focused Retreats:
Yoga. Meditation. Personal wellness and self-care. Take any one of these concepts, build out an itinerary and hire great faciliators (or DIY), and you have the makings of a high-paying health retreat. The Secret: Feel like you’re truly justifying whatever price you pay with the value you provide. (Ha…”The Secret”…get it?)
- Create Religious Jewelry and Decor:
This can range from a gold cross on a necklace, an OHM symbol mounted to the wall, or even a hand-forged silver menorah. The market for modern, non-secular products is far and wide. Find high-end stores and markets to sell your creations, as well as online outlets like Etsy.
- Booking Agent:
Book bands, comedians, jugglers, clowns, magicians and more into local parties, events, etc. Build a big stable of talent and all you have to do is collect checks and make sure people show up.
- Fund Raiser
Organizations, whether they be sports clubs, after-school groups, inventors, comedy troupes, non-profits…everybody needs money to keep things working. If you can help people raise it and take a small, agreed-upon percentage of the profit, you will have endless opportunities.
- Create A “Lists” Site:
People like reading lists. Like this one.
Build a website that features nothing but interesting lists of stuff related to a topic of your choosing, then monetize through ads, sponsorships, and more.
- Salvage Shipwrecks:
If you live near a waterway that’s had its share of sunken ships and local/state laws allow you to salvage what’s on those ships, you could have a profit center on your hand if you are comfortable with scuba gear, the odd karma of pillaging a wreck, and sharks. Big, scary sharks.
- Open A Museum:
There are museums dedicated to almost everything across the world. If you have a passion related to a topic or interest, odds are someone (and hopefully lots of someones) will share that passion with you to the point where they’ll pay to visit your museum. However, collecting is a networking game, so don’t be afraid to reach out to other people who might have artifacts to contribute. Do this through Reddit, Google searches, Facebook groups, etc.
- Open A Local Theater:
A vibrant space where you can produce local events, concerts and plays can be a rewarding Side Hustle, perfect for helping promote the arts and making a healthy profit in the process. Find local benefactors in your area, and don’t skimp on the fundraisers to get your dream up and running.
- Improve Hangers:
With some exceptions, most hangers are boring, drab, monochromatic pieces of metal, wood or plastic with one, forgettable purpose. What can you do to make hangers more interesting, beautiful and functional? You know the old saying: “Build a better hanger, and the world will give you millions of dollars.” Okay, no one ever said that. But it’s probably true.
- Resell Sneakers:
According to the Winter 2019/2020 issue of Inc. Magazine, “The market for resale sneakers and streetware in North America is estimated to be $2 billion.” Get those kicks out of the closet and onto sites like StockX, a resale marketplace dedicated to sneakerheads.
- Make And Sell Ice Cream:
Yum. Whether it’s at local events, distributed to restaurants, or simply hustling your 31 flavors on a street corner, everyone loves good ice cream. A scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough in a waffle cone for me, please.
Fantastic article! Really appreciate the extensive list. Super helpful for a busy mom of 3 teens. Thanks for sharing this. There really is a side hustle for everyone!
Thanks, Ella! What SH’s are you working on right now?